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G.R. No.

196435

January 29, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff-Appellee
vs.
JOEL CRISOSTOMO y MALLIAR,1 Accused-Appellant.
When the offended party is under 12 years of age, the crime committed is
"termed statutory rape as it departs from the usual modes of committing
rape. What the law punishes is carnal knowledge of a woman below 12 years
of age. Thus, the only subject of inquiry is the age of the woman and
whether carnal knowledge took place. The law presumes that the victim does
not and cannot have a will of her own on account of her tender years.
Testimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit, since
when a girl, particularly if she is a minor, says that she has been raped, she
says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has in fact been
committed. When the offended party is of tender age and immature, courts
are inclined to give credit to her account of what transpired, considering not
only her relative vulnerability but also the shame to which she would be
exposed if the matter to which she testified is not true. Youth and immaturity
are generally badges of truth and sincerity. Considering her tender age, AAA
could not have invented a horrible story. x x x "
Pursuant to Article 266-B of the RPC, the penalty for statutory rape (Criminal
Case No. 99-16237) is death when the victim is a child below seven years
old. There is no dispute that at the time the rape was committed on April 8,
1999, "AAA" was only six years old, having been born on April 4, 1993.
However, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9346, 31 the penalty of reclusion
perpetua shall be imposed on the appellant but without eligibility for
parole.32 The CA thus correctly imposed the said penalty on appellant.
On the other hand, rape by sexual assault committed against a child below
seven years old is punishable by reclusion temporal. 33 Applying the
Indeterminate Sentence Law, and there being no other aggravating or
mitigating circumstance, the proper imposable penalty shall be prision
mayor34 as minimum, to reclusion temporal,35 as maximum. The CA thus
correctly imposed the penalty of eight (8) years and one (1) day ofprision
mayor, as minimum, to seventeen (17) years and four (4) months of
reclusion temporal, as maximum, for each count of sexual assault.
G.R. No. 188653

January 29, 2014

LITO LOPEZ, Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
In the prosecution of drug cases, it is of paramount importance that the
existence of the drug, the corpus delicti of the crime, be established beyond
doubt. To successfully prosecute a case involving illegal drugs, the identity
and integrity of the corpus delicti must definitely be shown to have been
preserved. This requirement necessarily arises from the illegal drug's unique
characteristic that renders it indistinct, not readily identifiable, and easily
open to tampering, alteration or substitution either by accident or otherwise.
Thus, to remove any doubt or uncertainty on the identity and integrity of the
seized drug, evidence must definitely show that the illegal drug presented in
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court is the same illegal drug actually recovered from the accusedpetitioner.13
In both cases of illegal sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs, the
prosecution must show the chain of custody over the dangerous drug in
order to establish the corpus delicti, which is the dangerous drug itself. 14 The
chain of custody rule comes into play as a mode of authenticating the seized
illegal drug as evidence. It includes testimony about every link in the chain,
from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into
evidence, in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would
describe how and from whom it was received, where it was and what
happened to it while in the witness’ possession, the condition in which it was
received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the
chain. These witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure
that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no
opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the same.
Indeed, it is from the testimony of every witness who handled the evidence
from which a reliable assurance can be derived that the evidence presented
in court is one and the same as that seized from the accused. 15 This step
initiates the process of protecting innocent persons from dubious and
concocted searches, and of protecting as well the apprehending officers from
harassment suits based on planting of evidence and on allegations of
robbery or theft.16
The rule requires that the marking of the seized items should be done in the
presence of the apprehended violator and immediately upon confiscation to
ensure that they are the same items that enter the chain and are eventually
the ones offered in evidence.17
Marking after seizure is the starting point in the custodial link, thus it is vital
that the seized contraband is immediately marked because succeeding
handlers of the specimens will use the markings as reference. The marking of
the evidence serves to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all
other similar or related evidence from the time they are seized from the
accused until they are disposed at the end of criminal proceedings, obviating
switching, "planting," or contamination of evidence.18
There are occasions when the chain of custody rule is relaxed such as when
the marking of the seized items immediately after seizure and confiscation is
allowed to be undertaken at the police station rather than at the place of
arrest for as long as it is done in the presence of an accused in illegal drugs
cases.21 However, even a less-than-stringent application of the requirement
would not suffice to sustain the conviction in this case. There was no
categorical statement from any of the prosecution witnesses that markings
were made, much less immediately upon confiscation of the seized items.
There was also no showing that markings were made in the presence of the
accused in this case.
We have consistently held that failure of the authorities to immediately mark
the seized drugs raises reasonable doubt on the authenticity of the corpus
delicti and suffices to rebut the presumption of regularity in the performance
of official duties. Failure to mark the drugs immediately after they were
seized from the accused casts doubt on the prosecution evidence, warranting
acquittal on reasonable doubt.22

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A substantial gap in the chain of custody renders the identity and integrity of
the corpus delicti dubious.
G.R. No. 201156, January 29, 2014
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff–Appellee, v. JOSELITO
MORATE Y TARNATE, Accused–Appellant.
In this case, the accused–appellant never questioned the chain of custody
during trial. Specifically, the records show that the accused–appellant never
assailed the propriety and regularity of the process of marking and inventory
of the seized items during the prosecution’s presentation of evidence on that
matter during the testimony of PO1 Manamtam. 26
Also, when the
prosecution formally offered the Certification of Inventory as evidence for the
purpose of proving “the immediate and accurate inventory, marking and
packing of the purchased and the seized marijuana to maintain and preserve
[their] identities and integrity” and the four sachets of marijuana as evidence
for the purpose of proving “the identities and integrity of the purchased and
the seized marijuana as those were immediately inventoried, marked and
documented/recorded,”27 the accused–appellant’s comment was simply
“Denied as to the purposes for which they are being offered for being
self[–]serving pieces of evidence”28 and said nothing about non–compliance
with
the
chain
of
custody
requirement.
The chain of custody is basically the duly recorded authorized stages of
transfer of custody of seized dangerous drugs, from their seizure or
confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory for examination to
safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. 31 The function of the
chain of custody requirement is to ensure that the integrity and evidentiary
value of the seized items are preserved, so much so that unnecessary doubts
as to the identity of the evidence are removed. 32 Thus, the chain of custody
requirement has a two–fold purpose: (1) the preservation of the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items, and (2) the removal of unnecessary
doubts
as
to
the
identity
of
the
evidence.
The law recognizes that, while the presentation of a perfect unbroken chain
is ideal, the realities and variables of actual police operation usually makes
an unbroken chain impossible.33 With this implied judicial recognition of the
difficulty of complete compliance with the chain of custody
requirement,34substantial compliance is sufficient as long as the integrity and
evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the
apprehending
police
officers.35
Illegal sale of dangerous drugs is committed when the sale transaction is
consummated,45 that is, upon delivery of the illicit drug to the buyer and the
receipt of the payment by the seller. In this case, the RTC and the Court of
Appeals both found beyond reasonable doubt that the accused–appellant, as
seller, sold 1.0291 grams of marijuana to the poseur–buyer, PO1 Manamtam,
for P100.00. The former handed the latter three sachets of marijuana after
the latter paid the P100.00 consideration for the sale. Under Section 5 of
Republic Act No. 9165, such illegal sale of dangerous drugs, regardless of
quantity, is punishable with the penalty of life imprisonment to death and a
fine ranging from Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00) to Ten Million
Pesos (P10,000,000.00). In light of the effectivity of Republic Act No. 9346,
otherwise known as “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the
Philippines,” the imposition of the supreme penalty of death has been
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proscribed. Consequently, the penalty applicable to the accused–appellant
shall only be life imprisonment, without eligibility for parole, and fine. 46
Thus, the accused–appellant was correctly meted the penalty of life
imprisonment and a fine of Five Hundred Thousand Pesos (P500,000.00).
G.R. No. 201860

January 22, 2014

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Plaintiff -Appellee,
vs.
MARCELINO DADAO, ANTONIO SULINDAO, EDDIE MALOGSI
(deceased) and ALFEMIO MALOGSI,*Accused-Appellants
In fine, the pivotal issue raised by appellants in questioning the validity of
their conviction for the crime of murder is whether or not the eyewitness
testimonies presented by the prosecution, specifically that of the two
stepsons (Ronie and Edgar Dacion) and the widow (Nenita Yacapin) of the
deceased victim, Pionio Yacapin, are credible enough to be worthy of belief.
We have consistently held in jurisprudence that the resolution of such a
factual question is best left to the sound judgment of the trial court and that,
absent any misapprehension of facts or grave abuse of discretion, the
findings of the trial court shall not be disturbed. In People v. De la Rosa, 11 we
yet again expounded on this principle in this wise:
[T]he issue raised by accused-appellant involves the credibility of [the]
witness, which is best addressed by the trial court, it being in a better
position to decide such question, having heard the witness and observed his
demeanor, conduct, and attitude under grueling examination. These are the
most significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses and in
unearthing the truth, especially in the face of conflicting testimonies.
Through its observations during the entire proceedings, the trial court can be
expected to determine, with reasonable discretion, whose testimony to
accept and which witness to believe. Verily, findings of the trial court on such
matters will not be disturbed on appeal unless some facts or circumstances
of weight have been overlooked, misapprehended or misinterpreted so as to
materially affect the disposition of the case. x x x.
With regard to appellants’ assertion that the negative result of the paraffin
tests that were conducted on their persons should be considered as sufficient
ground for acquittal, we can only declare that such a statement is misguided
considering that it has been established in jurisprudence that a paraffin test
is not conclusive proof that a person has not fired a gun. 16 It should also be
noted that, according to the prosecution, only Eddie and Alfemio Malogsi
held firearms which were used in the fatal shooting of Pionio Yacapin while
Marcelino Dadao and Antonio Sulindao purportedly held bolos. Thus, it does
not come as a surprise that the latter two tested negative for powder burns
because they were never accused of having fired any gun. Nevertheless, the
evidence on record has established that all four accused shared a community
of criminal design. By their concerted action, it is evident that they conspired
with one another to murder Pionio Yacapin and should each suffer the same
criminal liability attached to the aforementioned criminal act regardless of
who fired the weapon which delivered the fatal wounds that ended the life of
the victim.

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Culprits behave differently and even erratically in externalizing and manifesting their guilt. In the absence of any direct proof. Some may escape or flee – a circumstance strongly illustrative of guilt – while others may remain in the same vicinity so as to create a semblance of regularity. it is jurisprudentially settled that when death occurs due to a crime. the agreement to commit a crime may be deduced from the mode and manner of the commission of the offense or inferred from acts that point to a joint purpose and design. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. we follow certain guidelines that have overtime been established in jurisprudence. 20Furthermore. unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. (5) attorney’s fees and expenses of litigation. employing means. BERNABE PAREJA Y CRUZ. but its converse is not necessarily true. Flight is indicative of guilt. and (6) interest. In People v. the following may be recovered: (1) civil indemnity ex delicto for the death of the victim. to commit the felony and forthwith decide to pursue it. affording the hapless. concerted action. Second. Once established. because the act of one is the act of all. 202122. considering its unique position in directly observing the demeanor of a witness on the stand. to wit: Anent the award of damages. in proper cases. without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the offended party might make.There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and then decide to commit it. Plaintiff–Appellee. (4) exemplary damages. we have also held that the essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning.24 G. It arises on the very instant the plotters agree. thereby avoiding suspicion from other members of the community. it does not matter who inflicted the mortal wound. or forms in the execution. As such. the trial court is in the best position to determine the truthfulness of witnesses. particularly when no significant facts 5 . the reviewing court is generally bound by the lower court’s findings. Accused–Appellant. (2) actual or compensatory damages. From its vantage point. v. absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the RTC’s assessments and conclusions. expressly or impliedly. the manner by which Pionio Yacapin was killed carried all the indubitable hallmarks of treachery. (3) moral damages. as each of the actors incurs the same criminal liability. When the issue of credibility of witnesses is presented before this Court. No. 21 In the case at bar. done in a swift and unexpected manner.20 we enumerated them as follows: First.R. each and every one of the conspirators is made criminally liable for the crime actually committed by any one of them. methods. Sanchez. and community of interest.18 Time and again. We quote with approval the following discussion of the Court of Appeals on this matter. the Court gives the highest respect to the RTC’s evaluation of the testimony of the witnesses. January 15. which tend directly and specially to insure its execution. we have declared that treachery is present when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons.

there are discernible defects in the complaining witness’ testimony that militates heavily against its being accorded the full credit it was given by the trial court. scarring her psyche for life and which her conscious and subconscious mind would opt to forget. these are generally binding and conclusive upon this Court. (Citations omitted. affecting the outcome of the case. it runs afoul of the constitutionally protected right of the accused to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him. More importantly.” 26 Moreover. Moreover. are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded. the date of the commission of the rape is not an essential element of the crime. accuracy in a testimonial account has never been used as a standard in testing the credibility of a witness. The Information is not sufficiently explicit and certain as to time to inform accused–appellant of the date on which the criminal act is alleged to have been committed. And third. 24 The inconsistencies mentioned by Pareja are trivial and non–consequential matters that merely caused AAA confusion when she was being questioned. The inconsistency regarding the year of the December incident is not even a matter pertaining to AAA’s ordeal. Rape is a painful experience which is oftentimes not remembered in detail. 11. the defects might not suffice to overturn the trial court’s judgment of 6 . In other words. Thus. a rape victim cannot be expected to mechanically keep and then give an accurate account of the traumatic and horrifying experience she had undergone.27 The peculiar designation of time in the Information clearly violates Sec. this Court has found no substantial reason to overturn the identical conclusions of the trial and appellate courts on the matter of AAA’s credibility. the “date of the commission of the rape becomes relevant only when the accuracy and truthfulness of the complainant’s narration practically hinge on the date of the commission of the crime. of the Rules Court which requires that the time of the commission of the offense must be alleged as near to the actual date as the information or complaint will permit. Considered independently. Since human memory is fickle and prone to the stresses of emotions. it is something which causes deep psychological wounds and casts a stigma upon the victim. Rule 110.) The recognized rule in this jurisdiction is that the “assessment of the credibility of witnesses is a domain best left to the trial court judge because of his unique opportunity to observe their deportment and demeanor on the witness stand. For such an offense is not analogous to a person’s achievement or accomplishment as to be worth recalling or reliving.25 The date and time of the commission of the crime of rape becomes important only when it creates serious doubt as to the commission of the rape itself or the sufficiency of the evidence for purposes of conviction. the rule is even more stringently applied if the CA concurred with the RTC. rather.”21 While there are recognized exceptions to the rule.and circumstances. a vantage point denied appellate courts–and when his findings have been affirmed by the Court of Appeals.

we took judicial notice of the interesting fact that among poor couples with big families living in small quarters. Therefore. the medical examination actually bolsters AAA’s claim of being raped by Pareja on more than one occasion. It is also not impossible nor incredible for the family members to be in deep slumber and not be awakened while the sexual assault is being committed.” and rape can be committed in even the unlikeliest of places. the absence of testimony or medical certificate on the state of AAA’s anus at the time she was examined is of no consequence. Ignacio.) In People v. Considering the cramped space and meager room for privacy. 31 (Emphasis supplied. allow 7 . considering that no young woman. moral influence or ascendancy takes the place of violence. Even lack of resistance will not imply that the victim has consented to the sexual act. and in relation to the testimonies of other witnesses. One may also suppose that growing children sleep more soundly than grown–ups and are not easily awakened by adult exertions and suspirations in the night. [A] medical certificate is not necessary to prove the commission of rape. they exert a powerful compulsion towards reversal of the assailed judgment. under the circumstances. as the prosecution failed to capitalize on such evidence and prove the incidence of carnal knowledge. This Court has held time and again that testimonies of rape victims who are young and immature deserve full credence. or common law spouse. There is no rule that rape can be committed only in seclusion. copulation does not seem to be a problem despite the presence of other persons around them. otherwise. AAA’s lack of resistance was brought about by her fear that Pareja would make good on his threat to kill her if she ever spoke of the incident. as even a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in a prosecution for rape. However. and not just by anal penetration. stepfather. In cases where the rape is committed by a relative such as a father. A person accused of a serious crime such as rape will tend to escape liability by shifting the blame on the victim for failing to manifest resistance to sexual abuse.38 In this case. it would be almost impossible to copulate with them around even when asleep. as logic and fairness dictate. this Court has recognized the fact that no clear–cut behavior can be expected of a person being raped or has been raped. especially of tender age. There is no merit in appellant’s contention that there can be no rape in a room where other people are present. It is a settled rule that failure of the victim to shout or seek help do not negate rape. Expert testimony is merely corroborative in character and not essential to conviction. couples perhaps have gotten used to quick and less disturbing modes of sexual congresses which elude the attention of family members. We have repeatedly declared that “lust is no respecter of time and place. However. uncle.conviction. Pareja cannot be convicted of rape under paragraph 1 of Article 266–A of the Revised Penal Code. On the contrary. especially when that person was intimidated into submission by the accused. would concoct a story of defloration. but assessed and weighed in its totality.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 195064 January 15. drawing and issuing any check to apply on account or for value. been a victim of rape and impelled to seek justice for the wrong done to her being. least of all a child.16 in which we said: The purpose of suspending the proceedings under P. whose time. It is highly improbable that a girl of tender years. ordered the bank to stop payment. and 3) subsequent dishonor of the check by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit. 2014 NARI K. In convicting petitioner of two counts of violation of B. the CA applied Tiong v. if she was not motivated solely by the desire to obtain justice for the wrong committed against her. 8 . and thereafter pervert herself by being subject to a public trial. No. or dishonor of the check for the same reason had not the drawer. 902-A is to prevent a creditor from obtaining an advantage or preference over another and to protect and preserve the rights of party litigants as well as the interest of the investing public or creditors.P.P. 22 are the following:15 1) making. (Citations omitted. Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth. effort and resources would be wasted in defending claims against the corporation instead of being directed toward its restructuring and rehabilitation. Co. she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape was indeed committed.D. No. To allow such other action to continue would only add to the burden of the management committee or rehabilitation receiver. would concoct a story of defloration. drawer or issuer that at the time of issue he does not have sufficient funds in or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment.) Evidently. would impute to any man a crime so serious as rape if what she claims is not true. Petitioner. The suspension would enable the management committee or rehabilitation receiver to effectively exercise its/his powers free from any judicial or extrajudicial interference that might unduly hinder or prevent the "rescue" of the debtor company.R. allow examination of her private parts and subject herself to public trial or ridicule if she has not. 2) knowledge of the maker.an examination of her private parts. one not yet exposed to the ways of the world. The elements of a violation of B. GIDWANI. It is intended to give enough breathing space for the management committee or rehabilitation receiver to make the business viable again. since when a woman or a girl–child says that she has been raped. G. without any valid cause. 22. vs. in truth. no woman. without having to divert attention and resources to litigations in various fora. Respondent. It is settled jurisprudence that testimonies of child–victims are given full weight and credit.

In Lozano v. the criminal prosecution is designed to promote the public welfare by punishing offenders and deterring others. at the time private respondent presented the September and October 1997 checks for encashment.18 In other words. 22 is the act of making and issuing a worthless check. as there was yet no obligation due from petitioner. the contract is deemed suspended. our laws should not be interpreted in such a way that the interpretation would result in the disobedience of a lawful order of an authority vested by law with the jurisdiction to issue the order. 200915 February 12. the making and circulation of worthless checks. because there was a suspension of GSMC s obligations. it is a basic principle in criminal law that any ambiguity in the interpretation or application of the law must be made in favor of the accused.Whereas. its birth takes place or its effectivity commences only if and when the event that constitutes the condition happens or is fulfilled. Hence. to isolate him from society. to reform and rehabilitate him or. Considering that there was a lawful Order from the SEC. vs. and it again becomes operative when a condition occurs – or a situation arises – warranting the termination of the suspension of the contract. and banking caused by worthless checks. the gravamen of the offense punished by B. a check that is dishonored upon its presentation for payment. It is designed to prevent damage to trade. MERLITA PALOMARES y COSTUNA. it must be emphasized that her non-liability should not prejudice the right of El Grande to pursue its claim through remedies available to it. but an offense against public order. this Court declared that it is not the nonpayment of an obligation which the law punishes. the practice is proscribed by the law. Consequently. it temporarily ceases to be operative. G.R. Because of its deleterious effects on the public interest. No. 12 This 9 . To secure conviction for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. the SEC Order also created a suspensive condition. Appellant. commerce. The prime purpose of the criminal action is to punish the offender in order to deter him and others from committing the same or similar offense. The law is not intended or designed to coerce a debtor to pay his debt. under pain of penal sanctions. However.P. Appellee. Surely.19 Thus. it had no right to do so. When a contract is subject to a suspensive condition. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. to maintain social order. the identity of the prohibited drug seized from the accused must be proved with moral certainty. When a contract is suspended. Martinez. The prosecution must establish with such measure of certitude that the substance bought or seized during the buy-bust operation is the same substance offered as evidence in court.11 Proof of the chain of custody from the time of seizure to the time such evidence is presented in court ensures the absence of doubt concerning the integrity of such vital evidence. The thrust of the law is to prohibit. that is. Moreover. The law punishes the act not as an offense against property. Blg. subject to the SEC proceedings regarding the application for corporate rehabilitation. petitioner may not be held liable for the civil obligations of the corporation covered by the bank checks at the time this case arose. in general.

2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. Accused-Appellant.R. 190178 February 12.35 While judges ought to be cognizant of the anguish and humiliation that a rape victim undergoes as she seeks justice. they should equally bear in mind that their responsibility is to render justice based on the law. No. Plaintiff-Appellee. In a long line of cases. So. and due to denial being generally weaker than and not prevailing over the positive assertions of an eyewitness. (2) bearing in mind the intrinsic nature of the crime. Accused-Apellant. At this point. a conviction for rape may issue upon the sole basis of the victim’s testimony. when a woman says that she has been raped. G. and difficult to prove. It has been held that for the defense of alibi to prosper. Moreover.34 Courts should be wary of giving undue credibility to a claim of rape. 33 In the case at bar. and (3) the evidence of the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits. A conviction in a criminal case must be supported by proof beyond reasonable doubt. such prevarication was devoid of any persuasion due to its being easily and conveniently resorted to. in fact. it is worthy to recall the three guiding principles in rape prosecutions: (1) an accusation of rape is easy to make. AURELIO JASTIVA. but it is even more difficult to disprove. and cannot draw strength from the weakness of the defense. she says in effect all that is necessary to show that the crime of rape was committed. The testimony of the offended party in crimes against chastity should not be received with precipitate credulity for the charge can easily be concocted. the prosecution has failed to discharge its burden of establishing with moral certainty the truthfulness of the charge that appellant had carnal knowledge of AAA against her will using threats. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with utmost care and caution. thus. 199268 February 12. a rape victim. No. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. run the risk of public contempt unless she is.requires as a minimum that the police mark the seized item (1) in the presence of the apprehended violator and (2) immediately upon confiscation. the burden of proof rests upon the prosecution. G. force or intimidation. This is because no decent and sensible woman will publicly admit to being raped and. this Court has held that if the testimony of the rape victim is accurate and credible. which means a moral certainty that the accused is guilty. FELIMON PATENTES y ZAMORA. vs. the accused must 10 . especially where the sole evidence comes from an alleged victim whose charge is not corroborated and whose conduct during and after the rape is open to conflicting interpretations. vs. Plaintiff-Appellee.

and (ii) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime during its commission.63The lust of a lecherous man respects neither time nor place. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PIDLIPPINES. If indeed he was not involved in conspiracy with Mayor Mitra. vs. 21 In conspiracy. Art. properly imposed upon appellant Jastiva the penalty of reclusion perpetua. The assent of the minds may be and. JAVIER MORILLA Y AVELLANO. 20 To determine conspiracy. But the imposition of death penalty has been prohibited by Republic Act No. the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. he was requested to open the rear door for a routinary check. usually inferred from proof of facts and circumstances which. When it was Morilla’s turn to pass through the checkpoint. Accused-Appellant. Mayor Mitra was able to drive through the checkpoint set up by the police operatives. the totality of the factual circumstances leads to a conclusion that Morilla conspired with Mayor Mitra in a common desire to transport the dangerous drugs. No. Physical impossibility involves the distance and the facility of access between the crime scene and the location of the accused when the crime was committed." thus. indicate that they are parts of some complete whole. from the secrecy of the crime. A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. the accused must demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the crime scene and its immediate vicinity when the crime was committed. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Accused-Appellant. – Rape under paragraph 1 of the next preceding article shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. 22 In this case.R. No. Plaintiff-Appellee. taken together. WILFREDO GUNDA alias FRED. the police officers requested Morilla to open the sacks. G. Both vehicles loaded with several sacks of dangerous drugs. Plaintiff-Appellee. 189833 February 5. 9346. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. the RTC.prove the following: (i) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime.R. 266-B. G. it need not be shown that the parties actually came together and agreed in express terms to enter into and pursue a common design.56 Case law. however. Noticing white granules scattered on the floor. Neither the crampness of the room. there must be a common design to commit a felony. Penalties. 11 . were on convoy from Quezon to Manila. Whenever the rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon or by two or more persons. shows numerous instances of rape committed under indirect and audacious circumstances. vs. 195525 February 5. nor the presence of people therein. he would not have told the police officers that he was with the mayor. entitled "An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines.

stabbed the victim several times." 14 As regards conspiracy. – In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. In such position. vs. HENRY T. and with the help of his conspirators. Petitioner. No. shall not be eligible for parole under Act No. treachery qualified the killing to murder. 168539 March 25. the CA correctly held that the proper imposable penalty is reclusion perpetua. Under Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. the lower of the two indivisible penalties. "It must be emphasized. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxxx (g) Entering. According to the postmortem findings. the penalty for murder is reclusion perpetua to death. There is also no doubt in our mind that the attack on the victim was attended by treachery."15 G. otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law.Based on the above narrations. the CA correctly ruled that it is not a circumstance which would aggravate or qualify the crime.R. without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. Undoubtedly. Section 3 (g) of R. as amended’. The elements of the above provision are: (1) that the accused is a public officer. employing means. In fact. GO. or whose sentence will be reduced to reclusion perpetua by reason of this Act. 3. into any contract or transaction manifestly and grossly disadvantageous to the same. 4180. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. we find no cogent reason to depart from the findings of the trial court as affirmed by the CA. whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby. Two prosecution witnesses positively identified him as the person who waylaid the victim. 3019 provides: Sec. methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure its execution. that appellant is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of murder. 9346 which states that ‘persons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua. "There is treachery when the offender commits [a crime] against the person. that [appellant is] not eligible for parole pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act No. he was just on his way home together with his son Eladio Jr. Appellant then delivered the coup de grâce by stabbing the victim multiple times.A. Corrupt practices of public officers. there is no opportunity for the victim to escape or even offer a feeble resistance. on behalf of the Government.1âwphi1 There being no other aggravating circumstance other than the qualifying circumstance of treachery. The victim was attacked by appellant from behind with a blow to his head with a wooden pole. the victim suffered 12 stab wounds which caused his death. Respondent. however. 12 . His cohorts then held the victim’s arms rendering him helpless and immobile. The victim was unarmed and had no inkling of the impending attack on his person.

13 The requirement before a private person may be indicted for violation of Section 3(g) of R. in all instances. one defendant may be found guilty of the offense. it does not follow that one person cannot be convicted of conspiracy. done. 12 This is the controlling doctrine as enunciated by this Court in previous cases.19 A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. it bears to reiterate the settled rule that private persons. when acting in conspiracy with public officers.11 At the outset. rebellion and sedition. as in the present case where the public officer has already died.15 If two or more persons enter into a conspiracy. The crime depends upon the joint act or intent of two or more persons. among which is a case involving herein private respondent. when considered together 13 . Yet. So long as the acquittal or death of a co-conspirator does not remove the bases of a charge for conspiracy. if found guilty. conspiracy is not a crime except when the law specifically provides a penalty therefor as in treason. If circumstances exist where the public officer may no longer be charged in court. Generally. Indeed. The law. among others. held liable for the pertinent offenses under Section 3 of R. is that such private person must be alleged to have acted in conspiracy with a public officer. The crime of conspiracy known to the common law is not an indictable offense in the Philippines. the act of each of them and they are jointly responsible therefor.A. any act done by any of them pursuant to the agreement is. 17 The death of one of two or more conspirators does not prevent the conviction of the survivor or survivors. nevertheless the existence of a conspiracy to commit a crime is in many cases a fact of vital importance.A.18 Thus. While it is true that the penalties cannot be imposed for the mere act of conspiring to commit a crime unless the statute specifically prescribes a penalty therefor. this Court held that: x x x [a] conspiracy is in its nature a joint offense. An agreement to commit a crime is a reprehensible act from the view-point of morality.(2) that he entered into a contract or transaction on behalf of the government. 3019. the sovereignty of the State is not outraged and the tranquility of the public remains undisturbed. the private person may be indicted alone. One person cannot conspire alone. 3019. however. and (3) that such contract or transaction is grossly and manifestly disadvantageous to the government. in contemplation of law. sane or insane at the time of trial. may be indicted and. or written by each of them and it makes no difference whether the actual actor is alive or dead. 16 This means that everything said. in consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft law to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft or corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto. be indicted together with the public officer. does not require that such person must. written or done by any of the conspirators in execution or furtherance of the common purpose is deemed to have been said. it is not necessary to join all alleged co-conspirators in an indictment for conspiracy. but as long as the conspirators do not perform overt acts in furtherance of their malevolent design.

he could be drawn within the enveloping ambit of the conspiracy if it be proved that through his moral ascendancy over the rest of the conspirators the latter were moved or impelled to carry out the conspiracy. No. G. of the consummated crime and its commission by the conspirators." The imposition of collective liability upon the conspirators is clearly explained in one case where this Court held that x x x it is impossible to graduate the separate liability of each (conspirator) without taking into consideration the close and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal act. Once an express or implied conspiracy is proved. in establishing the existence. Of course. 196960 March 12. demurs to the complaint or files any dilatory plea or pleads to the merits." Although it is axiomatic that no one is liable for acts other than his own. collective liability of the accused conspirators attaches by reason of the conspiracy. each individual whose evil will actively contributes to the wrong-doing is in law responsible for the whole. the same as though performed by himself alone.with the other evidence of record.R.22 When a defendant in a criminal case is brought before a competent court by virtue of a warrant of arrest or otherwise. for the commission of which they all acted by common agreement x x x. The concerted action of the conspirators in consummating their common purpose is a patent display of their evil partnership. and they are all equally responsible x x x Verily. he thereby gives the court jurisdiction over his person. The foregoing rule is anchored on the sound principle that "when two or more persons unite to accomplish a criminal object. whether through the physical volition of one. be regarded as the act of the band or party created by them. or all. and the court shall not speculate nor even investigate as to the actual degree of participation of each of the perpetrators present at the scene of the crime. as to any conspirator who was remote from the situs of aggression. all of the conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the extent and character of their respective active participation in the commission of the crime or crimes perpetrated in furtherance of the conspiracy because in contemplation of law the act of one is the act of all. and for the consequences of such criminal enterprise they must be held solidarily liable. in order to avoid the submission of his body to the jurisdiction of the court he must raise the question of the court’s jurisdiction over his person at the very earliest opportunity. vs. done in furtherance of the agreement or conspiracy. A time-honored rule in the corpus of our jurisprudence is that once conspiracy is proved. each is responsible for all the acts of the others. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The crime must therefore in view of the solidarity of the act and intent which existed between the x x x accused. Appellee. all of the conspirators who acted in furtherance of the common design are liable as co-principals. proceeding severally or collectively. This rule of collective criminal liability emanates from the ensnaring nature of conspiracy. 14 . the moment it is established that the malefactors conspired and confederated in the commission of the felony proved. "when two or more persons agree or conspire to commit a crime. Appellant. ERWIN TAMAYO y BAUTISTA. If he gives bail.

k. coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delicti as evidence. vs. y BINAYUG. Erwin’s liability is not diminished since he and the others with him acted with concert in beating up and ultimately killing Joey. of the constitutional presumption that an accused is innocent until the contrary is proven beyond reasonable doubt. including accused Erwin. the primary consideration is to ensure that the identity and integrity of the seized drugs and other related articles have been preserved from the time they were confiscated from the accused until their presentation as evidence in court.20 Crucial in proving the chain of custody is the marking of the seized dangerous drugs or other related items immediately after they are seized from the accused. "JOJIT. No. pounced on their one helpless victim.18 In a prosecution for the sale of a dangerous drug. "[in] prosecutions for illegal sale of shabu. however. JR. 205230 March 12. Simply put. A failure to mark at the time of taking of initial custody imperils the integrity of the chain of custody that the law requires. Admittedly. Conspiracy makes all the assailants equally liable as co-principals by direct participation. what is material is the proof that the transaction or sale actually took place. No.Assuming that the prosecution witnesses failed to identify exactly who inflicted the fatal wounds on Joey during the commotion. Since about 15 men. Moreover. HERMANOS CONSTANTINO. the prosecution must rest on its own merits and must not rely on the weakness of the defense. denial is an inherently weak defense. consistently viewed with disfavor by the courts. G. "planting" or contamination of evidence. and stabbed him on the stomach until he was dead.R. and the consideration. obviating switching. for the marking upon seizure is the starting point in the custodial link that succeeding handlers of the evidence will use as reference point. the following elements must be proven: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. In view. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the burden lies on the prosecution to overcome such presumption by presenting the required quantum of evidence. a.R.a. being a self-serving negative evidence.31 G." AccusedAppellant. Plaintiff-Appellee. In so doing." 19 And in the prosecution of these offenses. the object. 2014 15 . 199689 March 12. the value of marking of the evidence is to separate the marked evidence from the corpus of all other similar or related evidence from the time of seizure from the accused until disposition at the end of criminal proceedings.1âwphi1 The failure of the prosecution to establish the evidence’s chain of custody is fatal to its case as the Court can no longer consider or even safely assume that the integrity and evidentiary value of the confiscated dangerous drug were properly preserved. there is no question that the accused took advantage of their superior strength. relentlessly bludgeoned him on the head.

28 The rule finds an even more stringent application where the said findings are sustained by the appellate court. the same being straightforward. indeed. Indeed. AAA’s testimony was clear that every time Ventura would rape her. 31This is especially true in the case of AAA who obviously cannot be expected to act like an adult who would have the courage and intelligence to disregard the threat to her life and complain immediately that she had been sexually assaulted. In the Information21 filed before the RTC on March 31. does not militate against her credibility since rape victims are not expected to cherish in their memories an accurate account of the dates. Though AAA proceeded with much difficulty in describing the sexual abuse made on her.. A freshly broken hymen is not also an essential element of rape. The absence of hymenal lacerations on AAA’s vagina upon medical examination does not negate the fact of rape. number of times and manner they were violated.30 AAA’s failure to recall the exact date of the first rape and the number of times she was sexually assaulted by Ventura prior to March 24. it can well substitute for violence and intimidation enough to cow her into submission. he would threaten her against revealing the offense.29 In the context it is used in the RPC. all that needs to be proven are the facts of sexual congress between the rapist and his victim. and the latter’s mental retardation. In the present case. vs." 27 The trial judge’s assessment of the credibility of witnesses’ testimonies is accorded great respect on appeal in the absence of grave abuse of discretion on its part.26 This Court has repeatedly held that "mental retardation can be proven by evidence other than medical/clinical evidence. Accused-Appellant. and worthy of belief. 32 for the gravamen of the offense is carnal knowledge of a woman. Given AAA’s mental condition. to wit: From the foregoing. This Court is also convinced that AAA has no illmotive to manufacture such a tale if it were not true. it having had the advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence including the demeanor of the witnesses. such as the testimony of witnesses and even the observation by the trial court. no convincing reason can be appreciated to warrant a departure from the findings of the trial court with respect to the assessment of her testimony. 2005. carnal knowledge does not necessarily require that the vagina be penetrated or that the hymen be ruptured. 2005 based on the testimonies of BBB and the medico legal officer. It is also worthy to note that the defense did not dispute but even admitted the fact that AAA is suffering from mental retardation. paragraph 1(d) of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). and the trial court’s observation. the prosecution was able to establish that AAA is. 2005. Plaintiff-Appellee.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. As 16 . SR. the precise time of the crime has no substantial bearing on its commission. candid. as well as the absence of lacerations on AAA’s vagina. a mental retardate through the testimony of BBB and the medico legal officer. Ventura was charged with rape of a demented person under Article 266-A. The Court had repeatedly held that the exact date when the victim was sexually abused is not an essential element of the crime of rape. ERNESTO VENTURA. The fact that no consummated rape happened on March 24. pointed to by Ventura cannot work in his favor.

We had occasion to express this concern in People v. JERRY CARANTO Y PROPETA. 2005. the courts have been exhorted to be extra vigilant in trying drug cases lest an innocent person is made to suffer the unusually severe penalties for drug offenses.such. the need for entrapment procedures. the Implementing Rules provide that non–compliance with the strict directive of Section 21 is not necessarily fatal to the prosecution’s case because courts recognize the possible occurrence of procedural lapses. No. The prosecution was able to prove that Ventura is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of rape under Article 266-A. Accused–Appellant.18 This Court recognizes that the strict compliance with the requirements of Section 21 of R. For this reason. the trial court had observed that Ventura’s actions were detested by his family because despite having a large kin.”16 Moreover. this Court has no option but to impose on the appellant the penalty of reclusion perpetua in accordance with Section 2 ofR. The built–in danger for abuse that a buy–bust operation carries cannot be denied.36 In sum. Lastly. although an effective means of eliminating illegal drug related activities. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. It is essential therefore. 8353. we have time and again recognized that a buy–bust operation resulting from the tip of an anonymous confidential informant. which states that the rape was committed on or about March 24. Taking into consideration the presence of the special qualifying circumstance of Ventura’s knowledge of AAA’s mental deficiency. March 05. it is usually used as a means for extortion. the defense of denial as well as the points advanced by Ventura miserably failed to cast doubt on his culpability. They did not even bother to visit him while he was in jail. as amended by Republic Act (R. v. the use of shady characters as informants.” Worse. No.A. No.) No. 35 none of them testified for Ventura’s defense or did anything to support his case. we emphasize that these 17 . is sufficient to affirm the conviction of Ventura in the said case. is “susceptible to police abuse. 9165 providing specific procedures to counter these abuses is not put to naught.A.R. that these operations be governed by specific procedures on the seizure and custody of drugs.17 It is for this reason. Thus. However. the ease with which illegal drugs can be planted in the pockets or hands of unsuspecting provincial hicks. 9346.33 Inconsistencies and discrepancies as to minor matters which are irrelevant to the elements of the crime cannot be considered grounds for acquittal. the possibility of abuse is great.15 when we recognized that “by the very nature of anti–narcotic operations. the same being properly alleged in the Information charging the appellant of the crime of rape and proven during trial. paragraph 1(b) of the RPC.A.34 Hence. the time or place of commission in rape cases need not be accurately stated. the allegation in the information under Criminal Case No. 05-0366. and the secrecy that inevitably shrouds all drug deals. Plaintiff–Appellee.A. No. 9165 may not always be possible under field conditions. G. many of them far from ideal. 193768. that the Court must ensure that the enactment of R. Tan.

It would include testimony about every link in the chain. 24 The “chain of custody” rule requires that the “marking” of the seized items – to truly ensure that they are the same items that enter the chain and are eventually the ones offered in evidence – should be done (1) in the presence of the apprehended violator (2) immediately upon confiscation. third. of the illegal drug recovered from the accused by the apprehending officer. Therefore. we have considered it fatal for the prosecution when they fail to prove that the specimen submitted for laboratory examination was the same one allegedly seized from the accused. where it was and what happened to it while in the witness’ possession. the turnover of the illegal drug seized by the apprehending officer to the investigating officer. The case of Malillin v. the turnover by the investigating officer of the illegal drug to the forensic chemist for laboratory 18 .19 In the present case. second.lapses must be recognized and explained in terms of their justifiable grounds and the integrity and evidentiary value of the evidence seized must be shown to have been preserved. It likewise failed to prove that the integrity and evidentiary value of the items adduced were not tainted. the object of the sale. and (b) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment for the thing.20 In the prosecution of a drug case. This Court previously held26 that the following links must be established in the chain of custody in a buy–bust operation: first. In a long line of cases.21 The chain of custody requirement ensures that doubts concerning the identity of the evidence are removed. People22 is particularly instructive on how we expect the chain of custody to be maintained. tampering. if practicable. As a method of authenticating evidence. the primary consideration is to ensure that the identity and integrity of the seized drugs and other related articles have been preserved from the time they were confiscated from the accused until their presentation as evidence in court. the prosecution did not bother to present any explanation to justify the non–observance of the prescribed procedures. the chain of custody rule requires that the admission of an exhibit be preceded by evidence sufficient to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims to be. the non–observance by the police of the required procedure cannot be excused.25“Marking” means the placing by the apprehending officer or the poseur–buyer of his/her initials and signature on the item/s seized. These witnesses would then describe the precautions taken to ensure that there had been no change in the condition of the item and no opportunity for someone not in the chain to have possession of the same. the following elements must be present: (a) the identities of the buyer and seller. and the consideration. It is material to establish that the transaction actually took place. the seizure and marking.23 An unbroken chain of custody becomes indispensable and essential when the item of real evidence is susceptible to alteration. and to bring to the court the corpus delicti as evidence. contamination and even substitution and exchange. in such a way that every person who touched the exhibit would describe how and from whom it was received. Chain of Custody To secure a conviction for the illegal sale of shabu. from the moment the item was picked up to the time it is offered into evidence. the condition in which it was received and the condition in which it was delivered to the next link in the chain. This step initiates the process of protecting innocent persons from dubious and concocted searches.

there was no proof that such marking was actually undertaken at all. PO3 JOLITO P. and absent a justifiable ground to stand on. it surfaced again only at the marking of exhibits. Even assuming that the physical inventory contemplated in R. 203605 April 23. the belated marking of the seized items at the police station sans the required presence of the accused and the witnesses enumerated under Section 21(a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. however weak the defense evidence might be. No. LAWRENCE B. the prosecution’s whole case still falls. cannot be considered a minor deviation from the procedures prescribed by the law. No. however. In fact. 38 We recognize that the evidence proffered by the defense is far from strong. We note that other than the allegation that a marking was done at the police station. the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. like alibi.A. MAMANAO.R. 2014 P/C INSP. and fourth. In fact. that these weaknesses do not add any strength to the prosecution’s cause. P/C INSP. as in this case. 40 G.30 Another gap in the chain of custody is apparent from the lack of evidence presented by the prosecution to prove that the sachet of shabu. has been viewed with disfavor for it can easily be concocted and is a common defense ploy in most prosecutions for violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act. the identity of such investigator was not even mentioned nor was there any mention of a marking made on the seized item. The prosecution did not take the testimony of the investigator. the defense of denial or frame–up.examination. 37 It should be noted that the presumption is precisely just that – a presumption. JOELL. Moreover. CAJIPE. 39 It should be emphasized. 9165. the prosecution even failed to present an accomplished Certificate of Inventory. In our jurisdiction. JR. No. Jr. which was entrusted by PO2 Arago to the investigator. BALATUCAN. No. From the time it was placed inside the pocket or wallet of PO2 Arago. In People v. there was no statement from any of the witnesses that markings were made on the seized item in the presence of any of the persons mentioned in Section 21 (a) of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of R. and how they were kept before being adduced in evidence at trial. As the well–entrenched dictum goes.. Santos.. the appellant merely denied the occurrence of a buy–bust operation and failed to present impartial witnesses who were not interested in the case. P/C INSP. nor did they adduce evidence on what the investigator did with the seized shabu. P03 19 . how these got to the forensic chemist. Once challenged by evidence. The records are wanting of testimonies showing the manner of handling of the evidence. is the same sachet that was delivered to the forensic chemist. GERARDO B. MENDOZA.A.A.36 we held that the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty cannot by itself overcome the presumption of innocence nor constitute proof beyond reasonable doubt. precautions taken and other significant circumstances surrounding this essential transfer of custody. it cannot be regarded as binding truth. the turnover and submission of the marked illegal drug seized from the forensic chemist to the court. 9165 subsumes the marking of the items itself. 9165. Thus.

may file a notice of appeal within the appropriate time since it is a notice addressed to the RTC and not to the CA. In special civil actions such as that taken by the OSG before the CA. 13 The rule is even more stringently applied if the appellate court has concurred with the trial court. LUCENA. the judge’s assessment of the witnesses’ testimonies and findings of fact are accorded great respect on appeal. Behavioral psychology teaches us that.18 The prosecution evidence fails to establish probable cause against petitioner HPG officers. the reviewing court is generally bound by the former’s findings. Only the Office of the Solicitor General. as when no significant facts and circumstances are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded. Plaintiff-Appellee. vs. Since the OSG filed its petition for certiorari under Rule 65 on behalf of the People 112 days from receipt of the dismissal order by the city prosecutor of Parañaque. however. Probable cause for purposes of filing a criminal information is defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and the respondent is probably guilty thereof. may pursue the appeal before the CA by filing the required appellant's brief or withdraw the same. G. No.R. PO2 EDUARDO G. In the absence of any substantial reason to justify the reversal of the trial court’s assessment and conclusion. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. BLANCO. There is no reason the OSG cannot file the petition since the People is given sixty days from notice to the public prosecutor within which to file such an action before the CA or this Court. PO2 EDWIN SANTOS and PO1 JOSIL REY I. and should be held for trial.12 The trial judge has the advantage of actually examining both real and testimonial evidence including the demeanor of the witnesses. Petitioners. Hence. FLORO BUBAN BARCELA. 208760 April 23. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. advising it of the last day for filing such an action. vs. is to promptly communicate the facts and his recommendation to the OSG. the public prosecutor who appears as counsel for the People in such an action and on whom a copy of the final order is thus served. if he believes that a matter should be brought by special civil action before an appellate court. Jurisprudence is replete with cases where the Court ruled that questions on the credibility of witnesses should best be addressed to the trial court because of its unique position to observe that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses’ deportment on the stand while testifying which is denied to the appellate courts. the petition was filed out of time. The order of dismissal is thus beyond appellate review. even among adults. people react to similar situations differently.FERNANDO REYS. In case of permissible appeals from a final order in a criminal action. GAPUZ. the public prosecutor's duty. Accused-Appellant. and there is no standard form of human 20 . Respondent.

It is essential that this circumstance must be alleged in the criminal complaint or information and must be proved conclusively and indubitably as the crime itself. the prosecution need not prove that Barcela employed force.15 Let it be underscored that these cases involve victims of tender years. vaginal laceration or any genital injury is not indispensable because the same is not an element of the crime of rape.behavioral response when one is confronted with a startling or frightful experience. otherwise. record shows that threat and intimidation were indeed employed by Barcela to consummate the purpose which he had in mind. No further proof is needed to show lack of consent of the victims to their own defilement. the following elements must concur: a) the victim is a female over 12 years but under 18 years of age. and c) the offender has carnal knowledge of the victim either through force." Barcela had gained such moral ascendancy over AAA and BBB that any resistance normally expected from girls their age could not have been put up by them. unsophisticated minds. particularly a child who could not be expected to fully comprehend the ways of an adult. The absence of hymenal laceration on AAA and the finding of a shallow vaginal laceration on BBB are not fatal to the cause of the prosecution. ascendant. Obviously. the concurrence of the minority of the victim and her relationship with the offender is a special qualifying circumstance and raises the penalty to the supreme penalty of death. guardian. the inconsistencies referred to are trivial and only pertained to inconsequential matters that do not alter the essential fact of the commission of rape. step parent. This Court has repeatedly stated that no standard form of behavior could be anticipated of a rape victim following her defilement. Inconsistencies and discrepancies as to minor matters which are irrelevant to the elements of the crime cannot be considered grounds for acquittal. In any event. b) the offender is a parent. or when she was deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious. the crime shall be considered simple rape warranting the imposition of the lower penalty of reclusion perpetua. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. threat or intimidation.23 In the crime of rape. an intact hymen does not negate the finding that the victim was raped. What is decisive in a rape charge is that the commission of rape has been sufficiently proven.16 At any rate. they must not have fully understood and realized at first the repercussions of the contemptible nature of the acts committed against them. Further. This made them easy prey for his sexual advances. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. Barcela’s moral and physical dominion of AAA and BBB are sufficient to cow them into submission to his beastly desires. The threat of death he communicated to AAA and BBB produced fear in their minds which made them yield to his bestial demands. His moral ascendancy and influence over them substituted for actual physical violence and intimidation as an element of rape. 17 In the same breath.19 To sustain a conviction for qualified rape. and with their simple. it is not inconceivable that the victims continuously slept with Barcela despite the sexual molestations as it was undisputed that everybody in the victims’ family slept in one room. 18 The alleged inconsistencies in the testimonies of AAA and BBB cannot exculpate him either.24 Being regarded as the "tatay. threat or intimidation against AAA 21 . The Court has repeatedly held that the presence of hymenal rapture. or by means of fraudulent machinations or grave abuse of authority.

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. GAMBOA. or buttocks. which reads: SEC. syndicate or group. No. anus. humiliate.Children. Article III of R.000.000. lascivious exhibition of the genitals or private area of a person. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. 7610. whether male or female. bestiality. . There being no qualifying circumstance attendant to the commission of rape in Criminal Case No. degrade. either directly or through clothing. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. and P25. profit. vs. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. No. 5517-SPL. whether of the same or opposite sex. (Italics supplied) The elements of sexual abuse under the above provision are as follows: 1. P50. harass. 2. The said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse.because rape is committed when the offender had carnal knowledge of the offended party who is under 12 years of age. 188052 April 21. is below 18 years of age.R. of the genitalia.00 as exemplary damages. G. 5527-SPL of Acts of Lasciviousness committed against a child under Section 5(b).31 (h) "Lascivious conduct" means the intentional touching. who for money.000. with intent to abuse. or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.28 AAA is thus awarded the amounts of P50.00 as moral damages. of any person. inner thigh. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse. 2014 JEAN D.00 as civil indemnity. and 3. masturbation. Barcela should be convicted of simple statutory rape and should suffer the penalty of reclusion perpetua.A. The award of damages should also be modified in line with prevailing jurisprudence. The Court also upholds Barcela’s conviction in Criminal Case No. The child whether male or female. The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: xxx xxx xxx (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse: x x x. breast. The accused commits the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. groin. anus or mouth. 5. or the introduction of any object into the genitalia. Petitioner. 22 . Respondent.

the High Court extensively discussed the rationale behind such principle: Petitioner did not ipso facto commit the crime of estafa through conversion or misappropriation by delivering the jewelry to a subagent for sale on commission basis. by itself. That money. in fact. That there is a misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender or denial on his part of such receipt. Thus. That such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another. her cash advances were distributed to her staff for purposes of processing the renewal of the required permits and licenses. obtained only by proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind. does not constitute misappropriation. In the case at bar. In the following case. does not contain any such limitation. as the acknowledgement receipt. legally sanctioned. and at the stage of preliminary investigation.10 The first and fourth elements were readily admitted by Gamboa while she categorically disputed the second and third elements by declaring in her letter-explanation to TFS dated 27 February 1999. and 4. exacts acquittal absent proof beyond reasonable doubt. Rule 133. Neither does it appear that petitioner was verbally forbidden by Quilatan from passing on the jewelry to another person before the acknowledgement receipt was executed or at any other time. it cannot be said that petitioner’s act of entrusting the jewelry to Labrador is characterized by abuse of confidence because such an act was not proscribed and is. That there is a demand made by the offended party on the offender. that: 1." It must be pointed out that the law on agency in our jurisdiction allows the appointment by an agent of a substitute or sub-agent in the absence of an express agreement to the contrary between the agent and the principal. or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to 2. In this case. 3. Exhibit B. The universal test is moral certainty in ascertaining the guilt of the accused. goods or other personal properties are received by the offender in trust or on commission. We are unable to agree with the lower courts’ conclusion that this fact alone is sufficient ground for holding that petitioner disposed of the jewelry "as if it were hers. 2. she [had] surrendered all the necessary liquidation papers. the appointment of Labrador as petitioner’s sub-agent was not expressly prohibited by Quilatan. Section 2 of the Rules of Court reciting constitutional mandate. or for administration.It must be noted that delivery to a third person by an agent of the thing entrusted to her. the elements of the crime of Estafa under Article 315. paragraph 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code sought to be established by the prosecution are as follows: 1. and 23 . thereby committing conversion and clear breach of trust.

as well as its conclusions based on said finding. are accorded by the appellate court utmost respect. his conviction. shall of necessity follow on the basis of his admission of the killing (People v. 193856 April 21.R. vs.R. and RICKY LITADA. No. Appellant. the State does not only carry the heavy burden of proving the elements of the offense. No. EDWIN RAMIREZ. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. hence. 3 The first stage in the chain of custody is the marking of the seized drugs or related items. to prove the corpus delicti.4 Marking is the affixing of the initials or other identifying signs on the seized items by the arresting officer or the poseur-buyer. who has the direct opportunity and unique advantage to observe at close range their conduct and deportment on the witness stand. failing in which the State would not have proved the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. To avail of self-defense as a justifying circumstance so as not to incur any criminal liability. ERWIN LALOG. misconstrued and misinterpreted cogent facts and circumstances which. Appellee. It cannot be entertained where it is not only uncorroborated by any separate competent evidence but is also doubtful. its assessment of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies.11 It is well-settled that the credibility of witnesses is best determined by the trial judge. 2002). No. al. it is indispensable for the prosecution to show that the dangerous drugs subject of the sale and examined in the police laboratory are the same drugs presented in court as evidence.3. Plaintiff-Appellee. if not conclusive effect. 24 . The general rule is that findings of fact of the trial court.2 And. it must be proved with certainty by satisfactory and convincing evidence which excludes any vestige of criminal aggression on the part of the person invoking it. This must be done in the presence of the accused shortly after arrest. vs. G. It also bears the obligation to prove the corpus delicti. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. In a prosecution for the sale and possession of the prohibited drugs known as shabu. 137518. and can only be set aside upon a clear showing that it overlooked. G. would alter the outcome of the case. if considered. Suyum et. If the accused fails to discharge the burden of proof. Accused-Appellants. ROOSEVELT CONCEPCION. G.R. 196753 April 21. and the probative weight thereof. March 6. SUKARNO JUNAIDE y AGGA. all of TFS branches’ licenses were already completely paid on 20 January 1999 as per schedule. ignored. no additional penalty was incurred therefor.

Again. 194446 April 21. the prosecution was able to establish that the accusedappellant had carnal knowledge of AAA on January 17. especially its assessment of the credibility of witnesses. the accusedappellant merely denied the accusations of AAA. sigh. Only the trial judge can observe the furtive glance. calmness. Accused-Appellant.R. Rivamonte and Dr. coupled with the medical findings attesting to her non-virgin state. flippant or sneering tone. particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. Oden19 that the "eloquent testimony of the victim. Arellano that the victim’s hymen had "complete healed lacerations at 1. which was corroborated by the medical findings of Dr. 13932. The appellate courts will generally not disturb such findings unless it plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value that. the accused-appellant did not present any clear and convincing evidence to substantiate his claims that another person with mental defect could have raped AAA and that her injuries were caused when she fell in a canal beside their house. Undeniably. or the scant or full realization of an oath. the qualifying circumstances of minority and relationship attended the commission of the crime. are accorded great weight and respect and binding upon this Court. the testimony deserves faith and credit. the accused-appellant’s moral ascendancy over AAA takes the place of the force and intimidation that is required in rape cases. 2005. It is a fundamental rule that the trial court’s factual findings. Plaintiff-Appellee. might affect the result of the case. if considered. The accused-appellant also failed to present any evidence to prove that AAA was impelled by ill motive to testify against him. 6. HERMENIGILDO DELEN y ESCO BILLA. The Court finds that the RTC and the Court of Appeals were correct in rejecting the accused-appellant’s bare denials." As to the manner by which the rape was committed. Likewise. the RTC found credible and convincing AAA’s testimony on this matter. blush of conscious shame. These are significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses." We held in People v. AAA narrated in a straightforward manner the harrowing details of how the accused-appellant had sexual intercourse with her. The fact that AAA was only 12 years old when she was raped by the accusedappellant on January 17.20 To exculpate himself from the charges of child abuse and rape.) In the instant case. hesitation. which opportunity is denied to the appellate courts. should be enough to confirm the truth of her charges.21 For the charge of rape in Criminal Case No. the Court finds no cogent reason to disbelieve AAA’s testimony. Not only were the said circumstances specifically alleged in the information. 2005 was established by the certification 22 issued 25 . in the process of unearthing the truth. vs. This Court has repeatedly recognized that the trial court is in the best position to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses’ deportment on the stand while testifying. No. (Citations omitted. 3.G. Settled is the rule that where no evidence exists to show any convincing reason or improper motive for a witness to falsely testify against an accused. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the same were sufficiently proved during the trial of the case. 9 o’clock position[s].

which imposed against the accused-appellant an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment ranging from 4 years. which states: SEC. 2014 26 . 13870.1awp++i1 The Court. Article VI of Republic Act No. G. Moreover. cruelty or exploitation or be responsible for other conditions prejudicial to the child’s development including those covered by Article 59 of Presidential Decree No. 2 months and 1 day to 6 years. 4 months and 1 day to 8 years. This is in accordance with the provisions of Republic Act No.) The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling of the RTC. said certification stated that AAA’s biological father is none other than the accused-appellant Hermenigildo Delen.R.e. The trial court imposed the above penalty as it found no modifying circumstance that attended the commission of the aforestated crime charged. 196735 May 5. to 8 years of prision mayor. i. No. however. as amended. that the accused-appellant is the father of AAA. 10. Cruelty or Exploitation and Other Conditions Prejudicial to the Child’s Development. In the imposition of the penalty herein. the range of which is from 6 years and 1 day to 8 years. 7610 24 expressly provides that the penalty provided therein shall be imposed in its maximum period when the perpetrator is a parent of the victim. as amended. as minimum. Article XII of Republic Act No. 1992. Now then. shall suffer the penalty of prision mayor in its minimum period. 7610. but not covered by the Revised Penal Code. the range of which is from 4 years. The accused-appellant likewise admitted this fact when he testified in court. as minimum. considering the gravity of the physical abuse committed against AAA. 603.by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar of x x x. For the charge of child abuse in Criminal Case No. applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law and taking into consideration the circumstance of relationship. the RTC and the Court of Appeals correctly held that the appropriate penalty that should be imposed upon the accused-appellant is reclusion perpetua. the alternative circumstance of relationship. which stated that AAA was born on March 29. has been duly established by the prosecution. Other Acts of Neglect. (Emphasis ours. as maximum. which is prision correccional maximum. 2 months and 1 day of prision correccional. Batangas. 13870. as maximum. – (a) Any person who shall commit any other acts of child abuse. In this case. The minimum term of the sentence shall be taken from the penalty next lower in degree. which prohibits the imposition of the death penalty. disagrees. Still. notwithstanding the provisions of Article 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. Section 31(c). the RTC found the accused-appellant guilty of violating Section 10(a). We find that the penalty imposed by the trial court needs to be modified since. the Court imposes upon the accused-appellant the indeterminate sentence of imprisonment ranging from 6 years of prision correccional. in Criminal Case No. the maximum term of the sentence shall be taken from the maximum period of prision mayor minimum. Abuse. which is 7 years. as previously discussed. 9346. Thus. to 6 years. the imposable penalty is prision mayor minimum.. 8 months and 1 day of prision mayor.

therefore.. Failure to state an aggravating circumstance. x x x The purpose is to allow the accused to fully prepare for his defense. paragraph 1 of the Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that: A complaint or information is sufficient if it states the name of the accused." 111 This includes the right of the accused to be presumed innocent until proven guilty and "to be informed of the nature and accusation against him. therefore. Rule 110. the designation of the offense given by the statute. Settled is the rule that the factual findings of the trial court.114 It should be remembered that every aggravating circumstance being alleged must be stated in the information. and the court to render judgment properly. precluding surprises during the trial. to be admissible by the trial court. Accused-appellants. like nighttime.PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. it allows the accused to remain anonymous and unidentifiable as he carries out his crimes. especially on the credibility of witnesses. the approximate date of the commission of the offense. the name of the offended pary. disguise is an aggravating circumstance because. DANILO FELICIANO. ZINGAPAN. introduced to that effect. vs. Section 1. JR. 116 What is important in alleging disguise as an aggravating circumstance is that there was a concealment of identity by the accused. are accorded great weight and respect. CHRISTOPHER SOLIVA. and the place where the offense was committed. even if duly proven at trial. JULIUS VICTOR MEDALLA. an information is filed by the prosecutor against the accused.115 It was. WARREN L. will not be appreciated as such. In criminal cases. An when apprised him his defense to information the of enable is accused the him is charge to sufficient fully against prepare It is enshrined in our Bill of Rights that "[n]o person shall be held to answer for a criminal offense without due process of law. The introduction of the prosecution of testimonial evidence that tends to prove that the accused were masked but the masks fell off does not prevent them from including disguise as an aggravating circumstance. incumbent on the prosecution to state the aggravating circumstance of "wearing masks and/or other forms of disguise" in the information in order for all the evidence. and ROBERT MICHAEL BELTRAN ALVIR. The inclusion of disguise in the information was. the acts or omissions complained of as constituting the offense. The test of sufficiency of Information is whether it enables a person of common understanding to know the charge against him. the trial court has the advantage of observing the witnesses through the different 27 . in compliance with the due process of the law. For. they tried to conceal their identity. enough to sufficiently apprise the accused that in the commission of the offense they were being charged with. Plaintiff-appellee."112 Upon a finding of probable cause.

particularly the testimonies of the witnesses. the sigh. also. is a startling occurrence.141 A declaration or an utterance is deemed as part of the res gestae and thus admissible in evidence as an exception to the hearsay rule when the following requisites concur. (b) the statements are made before the declarant had time to contrive or devise. of course.129 As a general rule. x x x. the calmness. recognized exceptions to this rule. which are derived from his own perception. who reveal much of themselves by their deportment on the stand. the sincere or the flippant or sneering tone. and (c) the statements must concern the occurrence in question and its immediately attending circumstances. res gestae refers to the 28 . The Rules of Court. In People v. the hesitation. The exception that makes the rule is where such findings arc clearly arbitrary or erroneous as when they are tainted with bias or hostility or are so lacking in basis as to suggest that they were reached without the careful study and perceptiveness that should characterize a judicial decision. the heat. So."140 All other kinds of testimony are hearsay and are inadmissible as evidence. It has also been previously held that: It is the most natural reaction for victims of criminal violence to strive to see the looks and faces of their assailants and observe the manner in which the crime was committed. Part of res gestae. thus: Section 42. Leticia Labarias. may be given in evidence as part of res gestae. or the furtive glance. creates a lasting impression which cannot be easily erased from their memory. such as the angry flush of an insisted assertion or the sudden pallor of a discovered lie or the tremulous mutter of a reluctant answer or the forthright tone of a ready reply. the criminal could be apprehended. Most often the face of the assailant and body movements thereof. the yawn. the candor or lack of it. The term res gestae has been defined as "those circumstances which are the undersigned incidents of a particular litigated act and which are admissible when illustrative of such act. however. . provide several exceptions to the general rule.Statements made by a person while a starting occurrence is taking place or immediately prior or subsequent thereto with respect to the circumstances thereof. and giving it a legal significance." In a general way.121 (Emphasis supplied) It would be in line with human experience that a victim or an eyewitness of a crime would endeavor to find ways to identify the assailant so that in the event that he or she survives. the scant or full realization of the solemnity of an oath.119 There are.120 this court stated that: It is the policy of this Court to sustain the factual findings of the trial court on the reasonable assumption that it is in a better position to assess the evidence before it. and one of which is when the evidence is part of res gestae. the blush of conscious shame. to wit: (a) the principal act. that is. "[a] witness can testify only to the facts he knows of his personal knowledge. statements accompanying an equivocal act material to the issue. the res gestae.indicators of truthfulness or falsehood. may be received as part of the res gestae. the carriage and mien.

and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. like alibi. employing means. as an exonerating justification[. whether the act. or spectators to a crime immediately before. deliberate. or forms in the execution. he must also demonstrate that it was physically impossible for him to have been at the scene of the crime at the time of its commission. They warrant the least credibility or none at all and cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellant by the prosecution witnesses. For treachery to be considered. Like alibi. therefore. which tend directly and specially to insure its execution.] is inherently weak and if uncorroborated regresses to blatant impotence. or forms in the execution. regardless of their degree of participation. methods. whether through the 29 . without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the offended party might make. unarmed. For alibi to prosper. and declarations that grow out of the main fact and serve to illustrate its character and are so spontaneous and contemporaneous with the main fact as to exclude the idea of deliberation and fabrication. [T]reachery is present when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons. employing means. two elements must concur: (1) the employment of means of execution that gives the persons attacked no opportunity to defend themselves or retaliate. The test of admissibility of evidence as a part of the res gestae is. and also whether it clearly negatives any premeditation or purpose to manufacture testimony. which tend directly and specially to insure its execution. self-serving.circumstances. it also constitutes self-serving negative evidence which cannot be accorded greater evidentiary weight than the declaration of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. thus: Once an express or implied conspiracy is proved. and unexpected manner. such defense is negative. The foregoing rule is anchored on the sound principle that "when two or more persons unite to accomplish a criminal object. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons. victims. Unless substantiated by clear and convincing proof. during. affording the hapless. methods. it is not enough to prove that appellant was somewhere else when the crime was committed. all of the conspirators are liable as co-principals regardless of the extent and character of their respective active participation in the commission of the crime or crimes perpetrated in furtherance of the conspiracy because in contemplation of law the act of one is the act of all. The essence of treachery is that the attack comes without a warning and in a swift. has the effect of attaching liability to all of the accused. and undeserving of any weight in law. facts. Conspiracy. or immediately after the commission of the crime when the circumstances are such that the statements were made as a spontaneous reaction or utterance inspired by the excitement of the occasion and there was no opportunity for the declarant to deliberate and to fabricate a false statement. without risk to the offender arising from the defense which the offended party might make. once proven. Denial. declaration. The rule on res gestae encompasses the exclamations and statements made by either the participants. and (2) the means of execution were deliberately or consciously adopted. or exclamation is so intimately interwoven or connected with the principal fact or event that it characterizes as to be regarded as a part of the transaction itself.143 It is well-entrenched that alibi and denial are inherently weak and have always been viewed with disfavor by the courts due to the facility with which they can be concocted.

proceeding severally or collectively. CARLOS ALHAMBRA y MASING. Child Prostitution and Other Sexual Abuse. – Children. each individual whose evil will actively contributes to the wrong-doing is in law responsible for the whole. profit. it is impossible to graduate the separate liability of each (conspirator) without taking into consideration the close and inseparable relation of each of them with the criminal act. the Revised Penal Code. or any other consideration or due to the coercion or influence of any adult. whether male or female. each is responsible for all the acts of the others. paragraph 3 for rape and Article 336 of Act No. as the case may be. Section 5(b). The penalty of reclusion temporal in its medium period to reclusion perpetua shall be imposed upon the following: xxxx (b) Those who commit the act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct with a child exploited in prostitution or subject to other sexual abuse.16 The Court sees no reason to depart from the foregoing rule. done in furtherance of the agreement or conspiracy. That the penalty for lascivious conduct when the victim is under twelve (12) yeas of age shall be reclusion temporal in its medium period.. such as when the trial court overlooked material and relevant matters. Accused-Appellant.A. Provided..physical volition of one. that this Court will re-calibrate and evaluate the factual findings of the court below. No.. in a criminal case. No. 207774 June 30. It is well-settled that. vs. factual findings of the trial court are generally accorded great weight and respect on appeal. be regarded as the act of the band or party created by them. as amended. for the commission of which they all acted by common agreement . for rape or lascivious conduct. "when two or more persons agree or conspire to commit a crime. especially when such findings are supported by substantial evidence on record. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. indulge in sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. The crime must therefore in view of the solidarity of the act and intent which existed between the . the same as though performed by himself alone. who for money. It is only in exceptional circumstances. 7610 provides that: Section 5. accused.. That when the victim is under twelve (12) years of age.. Provided. are deemed to be children exploited in prostitution and other sexual abuse." Although it is axiomatic that no one is liable for acts other than his own. the perpetrators shall be prosecuted under Article 335. syndicate or group. 3815. or all.R. Article III of R. G. and they are all equally responsible. and xxxx 30 . Plaintiff-Appellee." The imposition of collective liability upon the conspirators is clearly explained in one case where this Court held that ..

d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented. under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph 1 hereof.Sexual abuse under Section 5(b). Rape.44 If indeed she was raped. even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. The testimony of the victim must be scrutinized with utmost caution. whether healed or fresh. there is sufficient foundation to conclude the existence of the essential requisite of carnal knowledge. Article III of R.R. AAA’s utter failure not only to resist Rondina’s advances but also to shout for help before. When and How Committed. G. 207763 June 30. shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice. the prosecution evidence must stand or fall on its own merits. vs. and (3) the child is below 18 years old. her own credibility must also be put on trial.21 It has been held that when the victim’s testimony is corroborated by the physician’s finding of penetration.A. 7610 has three elements: (1) the accused commits an act of sexual intercourse or lascivious conduct. and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. however. and defy the ordinary standards of human 31 . – Rape is committed1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) Through force. and unavoidably. or any instrument or object. The constitutional presumption of innocence of the accused demands no less than a moral certainty of his guilt free of reasonable doubt. the Court has emphasized that a woman’s conduct immediately after the alleged assault is of critical value in gauging the truth of her accusations. 2) By any person who. Plaintiff-Appellee. (2) the said act is performed with a child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Moreover. Accused-Appellant.43 One important test is that it must coincide with logic and experience. ROLANDO RONDINA.25 The Court. c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority. finds no physical evidence of sexual penetration and no corroboration of other vital details in AAA’s narration of the rape. during or after the rape are truly baffling. Article 266-A. that laceration. Time and again. threat or intimidation. No. into the genital or anal orifice of another person. No. is the best physical evidence of forcible defloration. b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious.

and with her face looking up she carried on a hushed conversation with her supposed attacker. he quickly placed himself on top of her and raped her. who in turn.behavior. her hands were free of restraint. detailed. G. Accused-Appellant. Hence." AAA stayed half naked and supine. drug pushers have turned more daring and defiant in the conduct of their illegal activities. 37 When the members of the buy-bust team arrived in the police station. too. and Rondina’s knife lay by her side most of the time. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. As the first issue. they turned-over the person of the accused-appellant and the items seized from him to SPO1 Moran. In cases involving violations of the Dangerous Drugs Law.38 Thereafter. the accused-appellant claimed that it was highly improbable for him to peddle and possess marijuana right in front of his house and within public view.36PO2 Hipolito did the same relative to the plastic container with marijuana likewise found in the accused-appellant’s possession. which went on for a "long time. even finality. A stranger suddenly materialized who obviously had unholy intentions. vs. if indeed he had a knife. and in the presence of the latter. because the latter had the unique opportunity. the accused-appellant had not ascribed any ill motive against the two police officers which could have otherwise induced them to fabricate the charges. and attitude under direct and cross-examination. 207664 June 25. or misapplied. its factual findings are accorded great respect.35 Anent the second issue.R. No. the Court finds the chain of custody over the evidence seized from the accused-appellant as unbroken and that there was sufficient compliance with Section 21 of the IRR of R. In the instant appeal. Plaintiff-Appellee. GIL SALVIDAR y GARLAN. who just sat still beside her. denied to the appellate courts.34 Moreover. and credible. PO3 Galvez positively testified that he marked the ten (10) plastic sachets containing marijuana and the pieces of white paper while still in the place where the accused-appellant was arrested. While a rape victim is not expected to resist until death. Incomprehensibly. absent any showing that certain facts of weight and substance bearing on the elements of the crime have been overlooked. misapprehended.A. to observe the witnesses and to note their demeanor. it is contrary to human experience that AAA did not even make an outcry or put up a resistance. No. This allegation fails to persuade especially in the light of the court’s observation that of late. knowing that the neighbors were just nearby. conduct. also half-naked like her. after the dastardly rape. 45 particularly since throughout her ordeal. appellate courts tend to rely heavily on the trial court’s assessment of the credibility of witnesses. the RTC and CA uniformly found that PO3 Galvez’s and PO2 Hipolito’s testimonies anent the conduct of the buy-bust operation were categorical. prepared the Evidence Acknowledgment Receipt and letter request for laboratory examination. PCI Arturo conducted the laboratory examinations and found the specimens to be 32 . 9165. yet AAA did not shout for help.

195668 June 25. must of necessity rely on the findings of fact by the trial court which are conclusive and binding once affirmed by the CA on intermediate review. The parties entered into stipulations and admissions of facts as regards the participation of the aforementioned two. This is no less than an admission on the part of the defense that there was nothing irregular in SPO1 Moran and PCI Arturo’s performance of their duties relative to preserving the integrity of the evidence which fell in their custody. or in any prohibited activities under Article 34 of the same Code. It is basic that the Court. MARISSA DIALA. and BERNA M. 41 The accused-appellant attempted to establish that there was a breach in the chain of custody over the evidence seized from him by pointing out that SPO1 Moran twice delivered the items to the crime laboratory – at first to a certain PO1 Bolora and later. The bindingness of the trial court’s factual findings is by virtue of its direct access to the evidence. No. MARICAR B. In simplest terms.A. and (3) that the accused committed the unlawful acts against 3 or more persons. and an elective government official. MA. without authority from the government. No. illegal recruitment is committed by persons who. vs. 9165 requires is "substantial" and not necessarily "perfect adherence.39 These were the same items identified by the prosecution witnesses and presented to the trial court as evidence. the following circumstances contrarily convince Us that she was into illegal recruitment. (2) that the accused had not complied with the guidelines issued by the Secretary of Labor and Employment with respect to the requirement to secure a license or authority to recruit and deploy workers. The essential elements of illegal recruitment committed in large scale are: (1) that the accused engaged in acts of recruitment and placement of workers as defined under Article 13(b) of the Labor Code.R. not being a trier of facts. he would have insisted on putting SPO1 Moran and PCI Arturo on the witness stand for cross-examination. the defense agreed with the prosecution to dispense with the testimonies of SPO1 Moran and PCI Arturo. The 33 . INOVERO. INOVERO.marijuana. a representative from the DOJ. despite Inovero’s protestations that she did not commit illegal recruitment. The accused-appellant lamented that the evidence seized were not photographed and inventoried in the presence of a member of the media. HARLETA VELASCO y BRIONES. give the impression that they have the power to send workers abroad for employment purposes.Accused. PAULINO. While this factual allegation is admitted."40 as long as it can be proven that the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Had the accused-appellant sincerely believed that there was indeed a breach in the chain of custody over the seized items. MARICAR B. In Our view. G. the Court stresses that what Section 21 of the IRR of R. to PCI Arturo. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 42 The Court notes that despite the foregoing allegation. Plaintiff-Appellee. Accused-Appellant.

The ratificatory religious wedding ceremony could not have validated the void marriage. courts – both trial and appellate – have generally viewed the defense of denial in criminal cases with considerable caution. Such judicial attitude comes from the recognition that denial is inherently weak and unreliable by virtue of its being an excuse too easy and too convenient for the guilty to make. 159031 June 23. and the personal opportunity to test the accuracy and reliability of their recollections of past events. vs. Article 349.1âwphi1 Thus. or before the absent spouse has been declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper proceedings. denial should be substantiated by clear and convincing evidence. One of these requisites is a valid marriage license except in those instances when this requirement may be excused. both of which are very decisive in a litigation like this criminal prosecution for the serious crime of illegal recruitment committed in large scale where the parties have disagreed on the material facts. the Court upholds the CA’s affirmance of the factual findings by the trial court. To be worthy of consideration at all. does not prevail over an affirmative assertion of the fact. for denial carries no weight in law and has no greater evidentiary value than the testimony of credible witnesses who testify on affirmative matters. There having been no marriage license nor affidavit of cohabitation presented to the priest who presided over the religious rites. all the essential and formal requisites of a valid marriage should be present. essentially a negation of a fact. and (4) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity. (3) that he or she contracts a second or subsequent marriage. The Court leaves its confined precinct of dealing only with legal issues in order to deal with factual ones only when the appellant persuasively demonstrates a clear error in the appreciation of the evidence by both the trial and the appellate courts. G. Petitioner. Respondent. in case his or her spouse is absent. 2014 NOEL A.13 It is no different here. the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil Code. Denial. This Court concedes that the marriage between accused-appellant Lasanas and private complainant Patingo was void because of the absence of a marriage license or of an affidavit of cohabitation. LASANAS. 34 . (2) that the marriage has not been legally dissolved or. the religious wedding cannot be treated as a valid marriage in itself. Neither can the church wedding be treated as a marriage in itself for to do so.direct access affords the trial court the unique advantage to observe the witnesses’ demeanor while testifying. This demonstration was not done herein by the appellant. if not with outright rejection. Hence. The elements of the crime of bigamy are as follows: (1) that the offender has been legally married.R. The accused cannot solely rely on her negative and self-serving negations. Bigamy. No. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. — The penalty of prision mayor shall be imposed upon any person who shall contract a second or subsequent marriage before the former marriage has been legally dissolved.

NELSON E. Accused. petitioner should have first secured a judicial declaration of the nullity of his void marriage to private complainant Patingo before marrying Josefa Eslaban. to wit: Article 40. The requirement of securing a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage prior to contracting a subsequent marriage is found in Article 40 of the Family Code. to the forensic laboratory for examination. Where the absolute nullity of a previous marriage is sought to be invoked for purposes of contracting a second marriage.R. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. he violated the law on bigamy. from the moment it is seized until itis finally adduced in evidence.But then. and finally to its presentation in evidence in court.A. TOBIAS. 9165. The rule on the chain of custody under R. The rule is meant to ensure the monitoring and tracking of the movements and custody of the seized prohibited item −from the accused. however. Consequently. Actually. Plaintiff-Appellee. the custodial chain would include testimony about every link in the chain or movement of the illegal drug. A declaration of the absolute nullity of a marriage is now explicitly required either as a cause of action or a ground for defense. and FRANK R. 37expressly demands the identification of the persons who handled the confiscated items for the purpose of duly monitoring the authorized movements of the illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia from the time these items were seized from the accused until the time they were presented in court.41 35 . as well as to ensure that doubts regarding the identity of the evidence are removed. (n) The reason for the provision was aptly discussed in Teves v. 40 It cannot be overemphasized. G. BAAY. TOBIAS. The first and second elements of bigamy were present in view of the absence of a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage between the accused and Socorro. The absolute nullity of a previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void.38 The rule also requires that the presentation and admission of the seized prohibited drug as an exhibit be preceded by evidence to support a finding that the matter in question is what the proponent claims it to be. he did just that but after his marriage to Josefa Eslaban. as the law and jurisprudence say. RODOLFO P. 39 This requirement is essential to obviate the possibility of substitution. FERNANDEZ. No. the sole basis acceptable in law for said projected marriage to be free from legal infirmity is a final judgment declaring the previous marriage void. People: 29 x x x The Family Code has settled once and for all the conflicting jurisprudence on the matter. Ideally. that testimony supporting a perfect chain is almost always impossible to obtain. vs. to the police. 36 together with its implementing rules and regulations (IRR). NELSON E. 193478 June 23. Accused-appellant.

Who are liable for theft. TRINIDAD A. The links of the chain of custody ofthe illegal drug are all accounted for by the testimonies of the police officers who formed the buy-bust team: from the confiscation of the cocaine from petitioner Tobias by the poseur-buyer.A.We have held that the failure of the prosecution to show compliance with the procedural requirements provided in Section 21 of Article II of R.Theft is committed by any person who. as these would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. then. who gave it to SPO1 Gonzales. 199208 July 30. 310. typhoon. Theft is likewise committed by: 1. . earthquake. or if the property stolen is motor vehicle.42 What is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. 36 . mail matter or large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation. the guilt of the accused will not be affected. its turnover to the buy-bust team leader. shall fail to deliver the same to the local authorities or to its owner. and eventually to SPO3 Barbero who made the marking. Antonietta Abillonar. CAHILIG. in relation to Article 308. Any person who. shall take personal property of another without the latter’s consent. the investigator. volcanic eruption. . Appellant. No. 9165 and its IRR is not fatal. Appellee.The crime of theft shall be punished by the penalties next higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the next preceding articles. to the forwarding of the seized item to the crime laboratory for a forensic examination. Art. Qualified theft. SPO1 Padua. vehicular accident or civil disturbance. 43 As long as the chain of custody remains unbroken. having found lostproperty. vs. with intent to gain but without violence against or intimidation of persons nor force upon things. G. of the Revised Penal Code defines the crime of Qualified Theft: Art. Bona. orif property is taken on the occasion of fire. P S/Insp. It is clear. or with grave abuse of confidence. 308. if committed by a domestic servant. fish taken froma fishpond or fishery. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.R. that the chain-ofcustody requirement was properly observed by the police officers and proven by the prosecution. up to the presentation of the results to the court by P/Insp. Article 310. or any other calamity.

2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of
another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or objects of the
damage caused by him; and
3. Any person who shall enter an enclosed estate or a field where
trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another and without the
consent of its owner, shall hunt or fish upon the same or shall gather
fruits, cereals, or other forest or farm products.
Thus, the elements of Qualified Theft, committed with grave abuse of
confidence, are as follows:
1. Taking of personal property;
2. That the said property belongs to another;
3. That the said taking be done with intent to gain;
4. That it be done without the owner’s consent;
5. That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation
against persons, nor of force upon things;
6. That it be done with grave abuse of confidence.8
It is clear that all the elements ofQualified Theft are present in these cases.
Cahilig took money from WPESLAI and its depositors by taking advantage of
her position. Her intent to gain is clear in the use of a carefully planned and
deliberately executed scheme to commit the theft.
Grave abuse of confidence, as an element of Qualified Theft, "must be the
result of the relation by reason of dependence, guardianship, or vigilance,
between the appellant and the offended party that might create a high
degree of confidence betweenthem which the appellant abused."9
Cahilig’s position was one reposed with trust and confidence, considering
that it involves "handling, managing, receiving, and disbursing" money from
WPESLAI’s depositors and other funds of the association.1âwphi1 Cahilig’s
responsibilities as WPESLAI cashier required prudence and vigilance over the
money entrusted into her care.
However, instead of executing her duties, she deliberately misled the board
of directors into authorizing disbursements for money that eventually ended
up in her personal account, a fact that Cahilig did not deny.

G.R. No. 209373

July 30, 2014

JOEL YONGCO and JULIETO LAÑOJAN, Petitioners,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
x-----------------------x

37

G.R. No. 209414
ANECITO TANGIAN, JR., Petitioner,
vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent.
Article 310, in relation to Art. 308,of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) defines
Qualified Theft, thusly:
ART. 308. Who are liable for theft.—Theft is committed by any person who,
with intent to gain but without violence, against, or intimidation of persons
nor force upon things, shall take personal property of another without the
latter’s consent.
Theft is likewise committed by:
1. Any person who, having found lost property, shall fail to deliver the
same to the local authorities or to its owner;
2. Any person who, after having maliciously damaged the property of
another, shall remove or make use of the fruits or objects of the
damage caused by him; and
3. Any person who shall enter an enclosed estate or a field where
trespass is forbidden or which belongs to another and without the
consent of its owner, shall hunt or fishupon the same or shall gather
fruits, cereals, or other forestor farm products.
xxxx
ART. 310. Qualified Theft.—The crime of theft shall be punished by the
penalties next higher by two degrees than those respectively specified in the
next preceding article, if committed by a domestic servant, or with grave
abuse of confidence, or if the property stolen is motor vehicle, mail matter or
large cattle or consists of coconuts taken from the premises of a plantation,
fishtaken from a fishpond or fishery or if property is taken on the occasion of
fire, earthquake, typhoon, volcanic eruption, or any other calamity, vehicular
accident or civil disturbance. (emphasis added)
Synthesizing the foregoing provisions, the elements of Qualified Theft,
committed with grave abuse of discretion, can simply be enumerated as
follows:
1. Taking of personal property;
2. That the said property belongs to another;
3. That the said taking be done with intent to gain;
4. That it be done without the owner’s consent;
5. That it be accomplished without the use of violence or intimidation
against persons, nor of force upon things; and
6. That it be done with grave abuse of confidence.5

38

As correctly observed by the appellatecourt, all of the elements of Qualified
Theft are present in this case, viz:
There is no dispute that the items (transmission, boom arm, differential
assembly, and I-beam) which are the subject matter of this case belong to
the CEO of Iligan City.1âwphi1 There is no dispute that these items, although
considered "heap of scrap," have not yet been declared unserviceable or
waste by the proper authority or office. Nor have they been marked for
proper disposal. Unless properly disposed in accordance with Section 379 of
the Local Government Code, these items are still government properties or
owned by the City of Iligan.
There is also no dispute that these items were taken away from the CEO and
were already under completeand effective control of the persons taking the
same. This is because these items were loaded onto the garbage truck
driven by Tangian and brought to Tominobo at the Delfin Junk Store.
Apparently, the taking of these items was without the consent of the CEO of
Iligan City because there was no gate pass issued to that effect. Evidence
shows that when the garbage truck left the premises of the CEO, no gate
pass was surrendered by Tangian. Yongco did not bother to ask for a gate
pass on the pretext that there was another guard on duty at the gate.
Intent to gain or animus lucrandi is an internal act that is presumed from the
unlawful taking by the offender of the thing subject to asportation. Actual
gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. Since
these items werebrought to the junk store, intent to gain becomes obvious.
The presumption of animus lucrandihas not been overturned.
There is conspiracy when two or more persons come to an agreement
concerning a felony and decide to commit it. 7 Well-settled is the rule that in
conspiracy, direct proof of a previousagreement is not necessary as it may
be deduced from the mode, method, and manner by which the offense was
perpetrated.8 It may be inferred from the acts of the accused before, during,
or after the commission of the crime which, when taken together, would be
enough to reveal a community of criminaldesign, as the proof of conspiracy
is frequently made by evidenceof a chain of circumstances.9
In conspiracy, the act of one is the act of all. Once conspiracy is established,
all the conspirators are answerable as co-principals regardless of the extent
or degree of their participation.13 The guilt of one is the guilt of all. It is
common design which is the essence of conspiracy—conspirators may act
separately or together in different manners but always leading to the same
unlawful result. The character and effect of conspiracy are not to be
adjudged by dismembering it and viewing its separate parts but only by
looking at it as a whole—acts done to giveeffect to conspiracy may be, in
fact, wholly innocent acts.14 Applying this doctrine in the case at bench, it
can reasonably be concluded that despite Lañojan’s lack of physical
participation in hauling the items to Tangian’s truck and bringing them to the
junk shop, he can still be liable for Qualified Theft via conspiracy. All told,
there is no cogent reason for us todisturb the findings of the appellate court,
affirmatory of those of the trial court.

G.R. No. 200334

July 30, 2014
39

THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, Respondent-Appellee,
vs.
VICTOR COGAED y ROMANA, Accused-Appellant.
The right to privacy is a fundamental right enshrined by implication in our
Constitution. It has many dimensions. One of its dimensions is its protection
through the prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures in Article III,
Section 2 of the Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and
for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of
arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determinedpersonally by
the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and
the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be
searched and the persons or things to be seized.
This provision requires that the court examine with care and diligence
whether searches and seizures are "reasonable." As a general rule, searches
conducted with a warrant that meets all the requirements of this provision
are reasonable. This warrant requires the existence of probable cause that
can only be determined by a judge.56 The existence of probable cause must
be established by the judge after asking searching questions and
answers.57 Probable cause at this stage can only exist if there is an offense
alleged to be committed. Also, the warrant frames the searches done by the
law enforcers. There must be a particular description of the place and the
things to be searched.58
However, there are instances when searches are reasonable even when
warrantless.59 In the Rules of Court, searchesincidental to lawful arrests are
allowed even without a separate warrant.60 This court has taken into account
the "uniqueness of circumstances involved including the purpose of the
search or seizure, the presence or absence of probable cause, the manner in
which the search and seizure was made, the place or thing searched, and the
character of the articles procured."61 The known jurisprudential instances of
reasonable warrantless searches and seizures are:
1. Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest. . . ;
2. Seizure of evidence in "plain view," . . . ;
3. Search of a moving vehicle. Highly regulated by the government, the
vehicle’s inherent mobility reduces expectation of privacy especially
when its transit in public thoroughfares furnishes a highly reasonable
suspicion amounting to probable cause that the occupant committed a
criminal activity;
4. Consentedwarrantless search;
5. Customs search;
6. Stop and frisk; and
7. Exigent and emergency circumstances.62 (Citations omitted)

40

footnotes omitted) In his dissent for Esquillo v. approach a person for purposes of investigating possible criminal behavior even without probable cause. to warrant the belief that the person detained has weapons concealed about him. vs." 97 Certainly. No."137 It ensures that the fundamental rights to one’s person. reliance on only one suspicious circumstance or none at all will not result in a reasonable search. Accused.98 [A] "stop-and-frisk" serves a two-fold interest: (1) the general interest of effective crime prevention and detection. Any evidence obtained in violation of [the right against unreasonable searches and seizures] shall be inadmissible for any purpose in any proceeding.93 (Emphasis supplied. 95 There should be "presence of more than oneseemingly innocent activity. MASTOR SARIP y MARUHOM and WARREN TUMOG y SAMPARADO.Other notable points of Terry are that while probable cause is not required to conduct a "stop and frisk.135 Otherwise known as the exclusionary rule or the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine. MANUELITA AMPATUAN y GONZALES. 188707 July 30. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and payment 41 ." 96 The Constitution prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures. houses. Elements of Illegal Sale of ShabuDuly Established The elements necessary for the prosecution of the illegal sale of drugs are as follows: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. Evidence obtained through unlawful seizures should be excluded as evidence because it is "the only practical means of enforcing the constitutional injunction against unreasonable searches and seizures. Diokno.136 This rule prohibits the issuance of general warrants that encourage law enforcers to go on fishing expeditions. Plaintiff-Appellee. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Accused-Appellants.99 (Emphasis supplied) The "stop and frisk" searchwas originally limited to outer clothing and for the purpose of detecting dangerous weapons. papers. ET AL. which. taken together.101 jurisprudence also allows "stop and frisk" for cases involving dangerous drugs.94 Justice Bersamin reminds us that police officers must not rely on a single suspicious circumstance. under appropriate circumstances and in an appropriate manner." A genuine reason must exist. People. which underlies the recognition that a police officer may. and effects are not lightly infringed upon and are upheld. this constitutional provision originated from Stonehill v. the object and the consideration." it nevertheless holds that mere suspicion or a hunch will not validate a "stop and frisk. G. warranted a reasonable inference of criminal activity.100 As in Manalili. in light of the police officer’s experience and surrounding conditions.. and (2) the more pressing interest of safety and self-preservationwhich permit the police officer to take steps to assure himself that the person with whom he deals is not armed with a deadly weapon that could unexpectedly and fatally be used against the police officer.R.

It is elementary that entrapmentand instigation are different. It is essential that the illegal drugs seized from the suspect is the very same substance offered in evidence in court as the identity of the drug must be established with the same unwavering exactitude as that required to make a finding of guilt. 13. Security and Benefit Act of 1991.10Indeed. any person who has violated Sections 7. Rule 119 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure and the provisions of Republic Act No. the defense never raised as defense any break in the chain of custody of the seized shabu and drug paraphernalia. 10.7 The absence of marked money does not run counter to the presented proof of illegal sale of shabu. machine copy blotter. and 16. 8. to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt. coupled with the presentation in court of the corpus delictias evidence. Otherwise stated. – Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 17. Article II of this Act as well as any violation of the offenses mentioned if committed by a drug syndicate. all attesting to the fulfillment of the requirement.therefor. although having evidentiary value. It is merely corroborative in nature. 11.11 Section 33. In instigation. 6981 or the Witness Protection. the prosecution duly established both. While in instigation. Relative to the required proof of anunbroken chain of custody of the seized illegal shabuand shabuparaphernalia. 6. and may plead or prove the giving of such information and testimony in bar of such prosecution: Provided. inventory. who voluntarily gives information about any violation of Sections 4. 42 . is not vital to the prosecution of the case. the means originates from the mind ofthe criminal. In entrapment. or any information leading to the whereabouts. 14. 15. What is material to the prosecution of illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the illegal sale actually took place.9 In the case at bar. the idea and the resolve to commit the crime come from the criminal. the instigator induces the would-be-defendant into committing the offense. and who willingly testifies against such persons as described above. the parties agreed to stipulate on the relevant testimony of the witnesses. 5. identitiesand arrest of all or any of the members thereof. (2) Such information and testimony are not yet in the possession of the State. Article II of this Act. 12. and himself becomes a co-principal.That the following conditions concur: (1) The information and testimony are necessary for the conviction of the persons described above.6 The prosecution. and 19. 8 The marked money used in the buy-bust operation. and affidavits. The duty of the prosecution is not merely to present in evidence the seized illegal drugs. Immunity from Prosecution and Punishment. shall be exempted from prosecution or punishment for the offense with reference to which his/her information of testimony were given. The corpus delictiis the seized illegal drugs. the requestfor laboratory examination. photographs. the law enforcer conceives the commission of the crime and suggests the same to the accused who adopts the idea and carries it into execution. must present in evidence the corpus delictiof the case.1âwphi1 Lack of marked money is not an element to the crime of illegal sale of shabu.

" G. ERIC ENOC."23 "There is treachery whenthe offender commits any of the crimes against the person.R."25 Treachery is evident in this case as the suddenness and unexpectedness of the assault deprived the victims of an opportunity to resist it or offer any defense of their persons.R. and PASOT SALOLI. and community of interest. "[C]onspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. vs. reduced into writing. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. without the slightest forewarning thereof.22"Conspiracy may be shown through circumstantial evidence." 21 It is not necessary to adduce evidence of a previous agreement to commit a crime. This is considering that the victims were unaware that they would be attacked by appellants with a hailof bullets from their firearms fired at close range. methods orforms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to insure the execution. RICARDO SUMILHIG alias CARDING SUMILHIG. 208623 July 23. 178115 July 28. (4) the informant or witness has notbeen previously convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.(3) Such information and testimony can be corroborated on its material points. lawfully imposed by the State as further consideration for the grant of immunity from prosecution and punishment. 43 . and (5) The informant or witness shall strictly and faithfully comply without delay. Plaintiff-Appellee. Plaintiff-Appellee. JOJO SUMILHIG. or inferred from the acts of the accused themselves when such leadto a joint purpose and design. Accused-Appellant. except when there is no other direct evidence available for the State other than the information and testimony of said informant or witness. RICARDO SUMILHIG alias CARDING SUMILHIG. vs. employing means. deduced from the mode and manner in which the offense was perpetrated. Accused.* and CIO LIMAMA. concerted action. without risk to himself arising from [any] defense which the offended party might make. Accused-Appellants. G. No. Indeed. JOJO SUMILHIG. WARLITO MONTEBON. PASOT SALOLI. placed the [victims] x x x in such a position that they could not have defended themselvesfrom the aggression x x x. VIRGILIO ANTONIO y RIVERA. any condition or undertaking. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. "[t]he suddenness of the attack.

who had the unmatched opportunity to observe the witnesses and to assess their credibility by the various indicia available but not reflected on the record. the victim was made to submit to the will of the appellant. vs. Itis enough that it produced the fear in the mind of the victim that if she did not yield to the bestial demands of her ravisher. or (c) when the victim is twelve years of age. Plaintiff-Appellee. sigh. It cannot be overemphasized that the credibility of a rape victim is not diminished. especially its assessment of the credibility of witnesses. or (b) when the victim is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. No. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. particularly when affirmed by the [CA]. ALEX DE LOS SANTOS. 207818 July 23. mightaffect the result of the case. it must establish beyond doubt the innocence of the appellant for the crime charged. or is demented. let alone impaired. which opportunity is denied tothe appellate courts. what is important is that because of force and intimidation. Hence. calmness."20 "[I]n rape through force or intimidation. This Court has repeatedly recognized that the trial court is in the best position to assess the credibilityof witnesses and their testimonies because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses’ deportment on the stand while testifying. and (2) that said act was accomplished (a) through the use of force or intimidation. as long as these are coherent and intrinsically believable on the whole. Accused-Appellant. For a discrepancy or inconsistency in the testimony of a witness to serve as a basis for acquittal. Itis only necessary that such force is sufficient to consummate the purpose for which it was inflicted. The appellate courts will generally not disturb such findings unless it plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value that. in the process of unearthing the truth.R."It is a fundamental rule that the trial court’s factual findings. the force employed by the guilty party need not be irresistible. are accorded great weight and respect and binding upon thisCourt. the following elements must be proven beyond reasonable doubt: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim. Hence. flippant or sneering tone."19 "For conviction to be had in the crime of rape. or the scant or full realization of an oath. if considered."21 Discrepancies referring only to minordetails and collateral matters—not to the central fact of the crime—do not affect the veracity or detract from the essential credibility of witnesses’ declarations. some evil would happen to her at that moment or even thereafter. by minor inconsistencies in her testimony. appellate courts are bound to give due 44 . Basic is the rule that the matter of assigning values to declarations on the witness stand is best and most competently performed by the trial judge. hesitation. Only the trial judge can observe the furtive glance. intimidation should be evaluated in light of the victim’s perception at the time of the commission of the crime. These are significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses. the corollary principle that absent any showing that the trial court overlooked substantial facts and circumstances that would affect the final disposition of the case. G. blush of conscious shame. Similarly.

the lesser of the two penalties which is reclusion perpetuashould be imposed pursuant to the second paragraph of Article 63 of the RPC. AccusedIt has been an established rule in appellate review that the trial court’s factual findings. and the attack is swift. such as its assessment of the credibility of the witnesses.24 Hence. 208170 August 20. The two penalties being both indivisible and there being no mitigating nor aggravating circumstance to consider. Without it. or right of the person invoking self-defense. or whose sentences will be reduced to reclusion perpetua. whether complete or incomplete. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.k. limb. deliberate and unexpected.17"There is an unlawful aggression on the part of the victim when he puts in actual or imminent danger the life. PETRUS YAU a."19 "There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against persons. "Susan". the penalty for murder is reclusion perpetuato death. employing means.13 Unlawful aggression on the part of the victim is the primordial element of the justifying circumstance ofself-defense. What is decisive is that the execution of the attack madeit impossible for the victim to defend himself or to retaliate. the courts a quo correctly sentenced the accused-appellant to reclusion perpetua. as amended. shall not be eligible for parole under Act No.k. two elements must concur: (a) that at the time of the attack."22 "The essence of treachery lies in the attack that comes without warning. Plaintiff-Appellee. No. the victim was not in a position to defend himself.deference and respect to its evaluation of the credibility of an eyewitness and his testimony as well as its probative value amidst the rest of the other evidence on record.R. vs. 45 . There must be actual physical force or actual use of a weapon. thereby ensuring its accomplishment without the risk to the aggressor." G. 9346 which states that "[p]ersons convicted of offenses punished with reclusion perpetua. methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specifically to ensure the execution of the crime without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make. "John" and "Ricky" and SUSANA YAU y SUMOGBA a. The accused-appellant shall not be eligible for parole pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act No. and (b) that the offender consciously adopted the particular means of attack employed. unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. by reason of this Act. there can be no selfdefense. without the slightest provocation on the part of the victim.a. To establish treachery. Under Article 248 of the RPC."18 "It is present only when the one attacked faces real and immediate threat to one’s life.a. otherwise known as the Indeterminate Sentence Law."23 Treachery qualifies the killing to murder. and affords the hapless. that can validly be invoked. 4180.

there is no doubt that Petrus is liable as principal of the crime of kidnapping for ransom. Petrus took and detained Alastair inside the house owned by him and Susana Yau in Bacoor. and (3) that there be a relation between the acts done by the principal and those attributed to the person charged as accomplice.00 for the release of the victim.A. the prosecution was able to satisfactorily discharge this burden. No. G. No. and hence. in accordance with Article 18 of the RPC. there can be no conviction without the identity of the malefactor being likewise clearly ascertained. evenif the commission of the crime is a given. RONALDO BAYAN y NERI. (1) to prove beyond reasonable doubt the commission of the crime charged.R. that is. knowing the criminal design of the principal by direct participation. 46 . Alastair was taken against his will. and (c) motive of the accused. Accused-Appellant. and (2) to establish with the same quantumof proof the identity of the person or persons responsible therefor. that is. in order that a person may be considered an accomplice. vs. and the conclusions drawn from the factual findings. Plaintiff-Appellee. Jurisprudence 25 is instructive of the elements required. lunch and dinner. First. which is extorting ransom for the release of the victim. (1) that there bea community of design. 200987 August 20. (b) actual deprivation of the victim of his liberty. with the intention of supplying material or moral aid in the execution of the crime in an efficacious way. Petrus kidnapped Alastair by using sleeping substance which rendered the latter unconscious while inside a taxicab driven by the said accused-appellant. because. as amended by R. where said victim was handcuffed and chained.18 Here. (2) that he cooperates in the execution by previous or simultaneous act. 7659. The only evidence the prosecution had against her was the testimony of Alastair to the effect that he remembered her as the woman who gave food to him or who accompanied his kidnapper whenever he would bring food to him every breakfast.the probative weight of their testimonies.000. Petrus made demands for the delivery of a ransomin the amount of US$600. Third. Fourth. Petrus is a private individual. namely. Second. are asfollows: (a) intent on the part of the accused to deprive the victim of his liberty.24 All of the foregoing elements were duly established by the testimonial and documentary evidences for the prosecution in the case at bench. are accorded great respect and have even conclusive effect. Cavite. he concurs with the latter in his purpose. It must be emphasized that there was no evidence indubitably proving that Susanaparticipated in the decision to commit the criminal act. Such factual findings and conclusions assume even greater weight when they are affirmed by the CA17 In every criminal case. The elements of Kidnapping For Ransom under Article 267 of the RPC. deprived of his liberty. Susana. on the other hand. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Anent the criminal liability of eachaccused-appellant. is liable only as an accomplice to the crime as correctly found by the lower courts. And fifth. the task ofthe prosecution is always two-fold.

the object and the consideration. Accused-Appellant. the following elements must be sufficiently proved: (1) the identity of the buyer and the seller. the following elements must be proved beyond reasonable doubt: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim. It is not indispensable in drugcases since it is merely corroborative evidence. Generally. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.16 and (4) the laboratory examination was conducted by Police Inspector Abraham Verde Tecson. 14 (2) the said transparent plastic sachet was then brought by PO2 Mendoza to the police station where he placed his initials "EM". or (b) when the victim is deprived of reason 47 . WENDEL OCDOL y MENDOVA. Accused. No.12 Indeed.17 The result of the laboratory examination confirmed the presence of methylamphetamine hydrochloride on the white crystalline substance inside the plastic sachet confiscated from appellant. 200645 August 20.Failure to present the buy-bust money is not fatal to the prosecution’s cause. and the absence thereof does not create a hiatus inthe evidence for the prosecution provided the sale of dangerous drugs is adequately proven and the drug subject of the transaction ispresented before the court. WENDEL OCDOL y MENDOVA. said sachet was brought to the crime laboratory for examination. who acted as the poseur-buyer during the buybust operation. for conviction in the crime of rape.11 In every prosecution for illegal sale of shabu. or where no speculative.20 The evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies are best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses’deportment. demeanor. At the outset. the prosecution was ableto preserve the integrity and evidentiary value of the said illegal drugs.R. all these elements were duly established. conduct and attitude under grilling examination. was the one who received the transparent plastic sachet containing shabu from the appellant. arbitrary and unsupported conclusions. Plaintiff-Appellee.15 (3) thereafter. G. AND DANTE BORINAGA. Furthermore. and (2) that said act was accomplished: (a) through the use of force or intimidation. can be gleaned from such findings.1âwphi1The prosecution was able to sufficiently establish the following circumstances showing an unbroken chain of custody over the shabuthat was seized from herein accusedappellant: (1) P02 Mendoza. vs. Neither law nor jurisprudence requires the presentation of any money used in the buybust operation. The delivery of the illicit drug to the poseur-buyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money successfully consummated the buy-bust transaction. EDISON TABIANAN. factual findings of trial courts especially those which revolve matters of credibility of witnesses deserve to be respected when no glaring errors bordering on a gross misapprehension of the facts. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor.

in the resolution of rape cases. especially in the face of conflicting testimonies. Independent proof is required – such as tokens. and photographs. we adhere to the rule that due to its intimate nature. or (c) when the victim is under 12 years of age or is demented. First and foremost. and thereby destroys the force of his testimony. there is generally. Thus. "There is an inherent impossibility of determining with any degree of accuracy what credit is justly due to a witness from merely reading the words spoken by him. mementos. under the pressure of a skillful cross-examination.20 The defense cannot just present testimonial evidence in support of the theory. and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. and.19 Otherwise called as the "sweetheart defense. the victim’s credibility becomes the primordial consideration. and (c) the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own merits. and the trial court has the opportunity and can take advantage of these aids.1âwphi1 For. (b) in view of the nature of the crime in which only two persons are involved. Many of the real tests of truth by which the artful witness is exposed in the very nature of things cannot be 48 . and inflection of the voice are potent aids in ascertaining the witness’ credibility. However artful a corrupt witness may be. unflawed by any material or significant inconsistency. indeed. It is settled that when the victim’s testimony is straightforward. though innocent. to disprove.or otherwise unconscious. and the accused may be convicted solely on the basis thereof. the Court is guided by the following principles: (a) an accusation ofrape can be made with facility. in adjudging rape cases.23 Again." it is an oft-abusedjustification that rashly derides the intelligence of this Court and sorely tests our patience.21 Appellant presented no such evidence to substantiate his claim. it is difficult to prove but more difficult for the person accused. 26 It is well settled that the evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is a matter bestundertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor. the emphasis. conduct. and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the evidence for the defense. the testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with extreme caution. These cannot be incorporated in the record so that all that the appellate court can see are the cold words of the witness contained in transcript of testimonies with the risk that some of what the witness actually said may have been lost in the process of transcribing. especially if the inconsistencies refer to trivial matters that do not alter the essential fact of the commission of rape. it passes the test of credibility. the victim is left to testify for herself. by way of emphasis.17 The "sweetheart theory" is an admission of carnal knowledge of the victim and consequently places on the accused the burden of proving the supposed relationship by substantial evidence. something in his manner or bearing on the stand that betrays him. even if there were no doubt as to the identity of the words. Inconsistencies in the victim’s testimony do not impair her credibility. and attitudeunder grilling examination. rape is usually a crime bereft of witnesses. gesture. more often than not. These are important in determining the truthfulness of witnesses and in unearthing the truth. convincing. As correctly stated byan American court. as in the instant case. The trial court’s assessment of the witnesses’ credibility is given great weight and is even conclusive and binding.

G. and hence they can never be consideredby the appellate court.transcribed upon the record." G. arbitrary. without stating therein that it was in relation to R. There is. Moreover. having heard their testimonies and observed their deportment and manner of testifying during the trial. For this defense to prosper. orspeculative. the following elements must concur: "(1) [the] identity of the buyer and the seller. gross misapprehension of facts. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PIDLIPPINES. The rule finds an even more stringent application where said findings are sustained by the Court of Appeals".18 Appellant’s defenses of denial and frame-up do not deserve credence. SAMUEL "TIW-TIW" SANICO. Plaintiff/Appellee. Denial cannot prevail over the positive testimony of prosecution witnesses. it must be proved with clear and convincing evidence. 181541 August 18.R. 208469 August 13. the failure to designate the offense by statute or to mention the specific provision penalizing the act. The reason for this is that the trial court is in a better position to decide the credibility ofwitnesses. appellant failed to overturn the presumption that the arresting officers regularly performed their duties. coupledwith the presentation in court of the corpus delicti"13 or the illicit drug in evidence. vs.A. We are aware that the Information specifically charged petitioner with Acts of Lasciviousness under the RPC. vs. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. MARISSA MARCELO. There must also be evidence that the police officers were inspired by improper motive. No. Plaintiff-Appellee. does not vitiate the information if the facts alleged therein clearly recite the facts constituting the crime charged. No. However. 7610.and unsupported conclusions can be gathered from such findings. no basis to suspect the veracityof their statements. The 49 . and the consideration. frame-up is viewed with disfavor since it can easily be fabricated and is a common ploy in prosecution for violations of the Dangerous Drugs Law. No. Elements for the Prosecution of Illegal Sale of Shabu. the "findings of the trial courts which are factual in nature and which involve credibility are accorded respect when no glaring errors. In a prosecution for illegal sale of shabu. the object. or an erroneous specification of the law violated.R. therefore. x x x What is material in a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs is the proof that the transaction or saleactually took place.25 In the absence of evidence that the prosecution witnesses were impelled by improper motive to testify falsely. Accused/Appellant. 24 On the other hand. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. Accused-Appellant.

Francisco46 involved the issue ofunder which appellate jurisdiction the crimes of rape and lascivious conduct fall. 7610. The accused-appellant. Such procedure [referring to the conduct of a joint trial] adopted by the trial court cannot and did not result in the merger of the two (2) offenses. Despite the fact that the appeal filed was captioned as one with reference to Criminal Case Nos. The CA aptly declared that when an appeal isfiled in a criminal action. In the instant case. It bears stressing that the case before the Court involves two separate Informations filed – one for rape and another for lascivious conduct. No. However. had the occasion to explain that: Nor can we widen the scope of our appellate jurisdiction on the basis of the fact that the trial court heard two (2) distinct and separate cases simultaneously. the commission of lascivious conduct was admitted by the accused-appellant in his testimony. 12021. it was shown that the requisites of Section 5(b) of the statute are present. 12021. 7610 are present in the accused-appellant’s case. was fairly apprised that he was being charged with violation of R.A. 7610 as well. No. it was as if no appeal was filed relative to Criminal Case No. Further. however.A. 7610.48 Criminal Case No. 12021 and 12022. grounds exist compelling us to reinstate the penalty and damages imposed by the RTC in Criminal Case No. a cursory reading of the assailed decision of the court a quoreveals with pristine clarity that each case was separately determined by the trial judge. 7610. the body stated in no uncertain terms that what was being assailed was merely the conviction for rape. the body of the Information contains an averment of the acts alleged to have been committed by petitioner and unmistakably describes acts punishable under Section 5(b).character of the crime is not determined by the caption or preamble of the information nor by the specification of the provision of law alleged to have beenviolated.Necessarily then. No issue regarding his conviction for lascivious conduct had been raised in his appeal before the CA as well. it opens the entire matter for review and that the requisites of sexual abuse under Section 5(b) of R. 12021. The court. People v. The CA thus inferred that it could not be precluded from imposing the proper penalty provided for in R. are accorded great weight and respect and binding upon this Court. In fact. x x x. No. the penalty imposed by the RTC for lascivious conduct should not be disturbed anymore. Article III of R. especially its assessment of the credibility of witnesses. This is the path more in accord with the general rule that penal laws are to be construed liberally in favor of the accused. 12022 It is a fundamental rule that the trial court’s factual findings. Hence. particularly when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. No. as each should be separately reviewed on appeal.A.A. No. the Information even specifically mentions R.A. but by the recital of the ultimate facts and circumstances inthe complaint or information. This Court has repeatedly recognized that the trial court is in the 50 . therefore.47 In the case at bench.45(Citation omitted) In the accused-appellant’s case beforethe Court. the CA cannot impose upon the accused-appellant a graverpenalty and increase the amount of damages awarded to AAA at least relative to Criminal Case No. Effectively then.

Section 1 of Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. as in this case. provides that all prohibited and regulated drugs shall be physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof." G. the seized drugs and paraphernalia shall be immediately brought to a properly equipped government laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination. Accused-Appellant. might affect the result of the case. have the same physically inventoried and photographed in the presence of the accused. blush of conscious shame. if considered. and/or his representative. or (c) when the victim is twelve years of age. instruments. RUSTY BALA. in the process of unearthing the truth. or when found secreted or abandoned. 3. courts are inclined to lend credence to their version of what transpired."50 The foregoing doctrines apply with greater force in the instant case where the accused-appellant cannot ascribe any ill-motive against AAA in accusing him of the offenses charged. The appellate courts will generally not disturb such findings unless it plainly overlooked certain facts of substance and value that. Series of 1979. if there be any. and (2) that said act was accomplished (a) through the use of force or intimidation. shall be seized or confiscated by any national. should immediately after seizure or confiscation. "For conviction to be had in the crime of rape. "[w]e have repeatedly held that when the offended parties are young and immature girls. 51 . or the scant or full realization of an oath. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.bestposition to assess the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies because of its unique position of having observed that elusive and incommunicable evidence of the witnesses’ deportment on the stand while testifying. flippant or sneering tone. sigh. but also the shame and embarrassment to which they would be exposed if the matter about which they testified were not true. Any apprehending team having initial custody and control of said drugs and/or paraphernalia. 203048 August 13. Moreover. vs. or is demented. 2. calmness. These are significant factors in evaluating the sincerity of witnesses. Series of 1990. Only the trial judge can observe the furtive glance.R. apparatuses and articles specially designed for the use thereof when unlawfully used or found in the possession of any person not authorized to have control and disposition of the same. All prohibited and regulated drugs.and where the factual findings of the RTC coincide with those of the CA. Plaintiff-Appellee. or (b) when the victim is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. the following elements must be proven beyond reasonable doubt: (1) that the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim. who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. as amended by Board Regulation No. provincial or local law enforcement agency. hesitation. Thereafter. considering not only their relative vulnerability. to wit: Section 1. which opportunity is denied to the appellate courts. No.

the Court still applied such presumption. this Court held that what is of utmost importance is the preservation of the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items. it must be made clear that in several cases decided by the Court. and who has present custody of the same. Despite the presence of such regulation and its non-compliance by the buy-bust team. In People v.A. 6425. 9165. This rule is now incorporated asSection 21(1) of Republic Act No. The alleged procedural infirmity pointed out by appellant does not prove fatal to the prosecution’s case. we held that: The failure of the arresting police officers to comply with said DDB Regulation No.The apprehending team shall: (a) within forty-eight (48) hours from the seizure inform the Dangerous Drugs Board by telegram of said seizure.16 a case wherein appellant therein claimed that proper procedure for taking custody of the seized prohibited drugs was not faithfully followed. In People v. De Los Reyes. Second. even prior to the enactment of R. 9165 that repealed Republic Act No. 52 . as the same would be utilized in the determination of the guilt or innocence of the accused. The ponenteof Agulaywould further observe in a separate opinion that the failure by the buy-bust team to comply with the procedure in Section 21(a). failure by the buy-bust team to comply with said section did not prevent the presumption of regularityin the performance of duty from applying. Article II of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. it is the preservation ofthe integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items which mustbe proven to establish the corpus delicti. Pertinently. 19 Article II of Republic Act No. which replicated Section 21(1) of Republic Act No. Series of 1979 is a matter strictly between the Dangerous Drugs Board and the arresting officers and is totally irrelevant to the prosecution of the criminal case for the reason that the commission of the crime of illegal sale of a prohibited drug is considered consummated once the sale or transaction is established x x x and the prosecution thereof is not undermined by the failure of the arresting officers to comply with the regulations of the Dangerous Drugs Board. x x x. x x x. 9165. a case which also involved an objection regarding the non-compliance with the chain of custody rule. Non-compliance with [Section 21. the requirements contained in Section 21(a) were already there per Dangerous Drugs Board Regulation No. to wit: First. 9165] is not fatal and will not render an accused's arrest illegal or the items seized/confiscated from him inadmissible. Gratil. Series of 1979. 9165. 3. Del Monte. we ruled that: In People v. 3. did not overcome the presumption of regularity accorded to police authorities in the performance of their official duties. the nature and quantity thereof. and (b) submit to the Board a copy of the mission investigation report within fifteen (15) days fromcompletion of the investigation.

As provided in Section 5. When and How Committed. ELADIO B. It is undisputed that in their petition for certiorari before the CA. considering that said party may still be added by order of the court. No. not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present..R.R. paragraph 1 of the Revised Penal Code describes how rape is committed: Rape. The joinder of indispensable parties is mandatory. G. – Rape is committed – 1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) Through force. Petitioner. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want of authorityto act. vs. DELA ROSA. v. Co. This is because the absence of such indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void for want of authority to act. JOSE C. the petition was obviously defective. it behooved the petitioners (respondents herein) to implead the People of the Philippines asrespondent in the CA case to enable the Solicitor General to comment on the petition. Plaintiff-Appellee. Because of this. GO and AIDA C. 31 it remains essential – as it is jurisdictional – that any indispensable party be impleaded in the proceedings before the court renders judgment. Respondents. vs. No. Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.G. 53 . without the presence of indispensable parties to a suit or proceeding." Accused-Appellant. threat or intimidation. As explained in Lotte Phil. which is "the authority to hear and determine a cause. 208716 September 24. respondents failed to implead the People of the Philippines as a party thereto. Article 266-A. 201644 September 24. The presence of indispensable parties is necessary to vest the court with jurisdiction.30 While the failure to implead an indispensable party is not per sea ground for the dismissal of an action. LUMAHO alias "ATTUMPANG. not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present. Dela Cruz:32 An indispensable party is a party-in-interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action. Inc. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious." Thus. judgment of a court cannot attain real finality. and who shall be joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and/orsuch times as are just. the right to act in a case. Therefore. all criminal actions are prosecuted under the direction and control of the public prosecutor.

For alibi to prosper. Positive and categorical identification of AAA. is negative and self-serving evidence undeserving of weight in law. convincing and consistent with human nature and the normal course of things. Jurisprudentially settled is the principle that if a victim's testimony is straightforward. the factual findings of the trial court. Aside from Bennog. death penalty shall be imposed if the crime of rape is committed by a parent against his child under eighteen (18) years of age. are accorded great weight and respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. especially on the credibility of the rape victim. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. prevails over an unsubstantiated alibi. the essential details to convict the accused. despite her tender age. (Emphasis ours). it passes the test of credibility and the accused may be convicted solely on the basis thereof. In straightforward. In criminal law jurisprudence. 266-B of the Revised Penal Code. It is worth stressing that even Lumaho himself failed to testify in court to personally deny the accusations against him. ascendant.1âwphi1 An alibi. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. this Court has consistently held that alibi is an inherently weak defense because it is easy to fabricate and highly unreliable. it must be supported by credible corroboration from disinterested witnesses.29 The penalty prescribed for qualified rape is death. As prescribed under Art. step-parent. without any clear and convincing evidence. As conclusively proven by the prosecution.23 An evidence is considered hearsay if its probative value is not based on personal knowledge of the witness but on the knowledge of some other person not on the witness stand. unflawed by any material or significant inconsistency. However. Rape is qualified if the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. guardian.25 Time and again.c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority.19 The liberality of the trial court is not equated to diminished credibility. without any showing of illmotive on her part. Bennog is not a disinterested witness as he is a friend of the accused. positive narration.22 Putting more emphasis.24 A witness can testify only to those facts which he knows of his personal knowledge and derived from his own perception. alibi cannot prevail over the positive and categorical testimony and identification of the complainant. the penalty of reclusion perpetuawithout the eligibility of parole 30 shall be imposed in lieu of the imposition of death penalty.28 Evidently. 9346 or the AntiDeath Penalty Law. accused Lumaho had carnal knowledge of his 7-year-old child AAA through force and intimidation. and d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented. in viewof Republic Act No. even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present. It cannot be given greater evidentiary value over the testimony ofAAA who testified on affirmative matters. 54 . no additional witness was presented by the defense to corroboratethe physical absence of Lumaho in the scene of the crime. she was able to convey.

No.R.G. (3) there is a grave abuse of discretion. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. all these elements exist in this case. At the outset. 7 Settled is the rule that the findings of fact of the Sandiganbayan in cases before this Court are binding and conclusive in the absence of a showing that they come under the established exceptions. Issues brought to the Court as to whether the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. Coloma was undisputably the Director of the PNPA at the time material to the charge against him. and (c) his action caused any undue injury to any party. thereby negating the charge that he was guilty of misrepresentation in his official report. and the commencement of the construction of the 50-capacity barracks were his personal factual observations. and (6) the findings of fact of the Sandiganbayan are premised on the absence of evidence on record. are all. As to the second element. or whether the presumption of innocence was sufficiently debunked. surmises and conjectures. it bears stressing that in appeals from the Sandiganbayan. the 90% completion of the administration building’s construction. strip him of both his powers and duties related to the implementation of the project. HON. 3019 which has the following essential elements: (a) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative. 8 Coloma was charged with the crime of violation of Section 3(e) of R. vs. questions of fact. only questions of law and not questions of fact may be raised. in any way. including the government. From the task of selecting the site for RTS 9 to the dealings with the contractors for the project.. advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions. Coloma’s argument is basically a denial of bad faith on his part. Apart from this. Petitioner. such as: (1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. JR. As observed by the Sandiganbayan. or whether or not good faith was properly appreciated. invariably. or gave any private party unwarranted benefits. Respondents. judicial or official functions. No. this latter position signifies Coloma’s task to oversee and administer the construction of RTS 9. SANDIGANBAYAN (THIRD DIVISION) and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. It is irrefutable that the first element is present. or whether or not conspiracy was satisfactorily established. (5) said findings of facts are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based. 4) the judgment is based on misapprehension of facts. (2) the inference made is manifestly mistaken. COLOMA. He claims that his statements as to the completion of the project’s land development. 205561 September 24.A. he never denied his designation as the Special Assistant and Action Officer to the Director of the LIS-PPSC. His claims that he had no participation in the construction of the facilities do not. as in this case. 55 . 2014 DIONISIO B. (b) he must have acted with manifest partiality.

It bears stressing that the Sandiganbayan accorded credence on Engr. 3019 is enough to convict. 3019 in the performance of his functions." "Gross negligence has been so defined as negligence characterized by the want of even slight care.14 As explained by the Sandiganbayan. The undue injury caused to the government is evident from Coloma's statement of a cost of RTS 9 higher than that discovered upon inspection." "badfaith. No. the undue injury caused by Coloma to the government is based on two grounds: 1) as a co-signatory in the current accounts created for the payment of creditors. 15 Coloma reserved to himself control over the deposits to and withdrawals therefrom. The accused may be charged under either mode or both. Further.A. taken together with the showing that no 50-capacity barracks was ever built on the site as opposed to Coloma 's reportage."10 In a catena of cases.A. the Court has held that there are two ways by which a public official violates Section 3(e) of R.000. through manifest partiality. 13 In other words." has a meaning akin to that civil law concept of "actual damage. the public funds disbursed for the project were not utilized in strict accord to its purpose. it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong. Thus." and "gross negligence. Vacnot's testimony that the cost of the facilities constructed in RTS 9 only cost P3." Actual damage. is akin to that in civil law. established that the construction of RTS 9 was replete with irregularities. 3019 may be committed in three ways. Contrary to Coloma's claim. Proof of anyof these three in connection with the prohibited acts mentioned in Section 3(e) of R. 56 . 180." the Court has elucidated: "Partiality" is synonymous with "bias" which "excites a disposition to see and report mattersas they are wished for rather than as they are. in the context of these definitions. No.9 On the meaning of "partiality. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will. Despite the opportunity to crossexamine the witness.A. more or less. including the Government." "Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. and 2) the cost of the RTS 9 as declared by Coloma in his report was significantly higher than the actual cost computed after inspection. Otherwise stated. This fact. not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. 3019 punishing the act of "causing undue injury to any party. It is the omission of that care which eveninattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. it partakes of the nature of fraud. No.The second element of Section 3 (e) of R. No. this information was supported by detailed costings and was unequivocally testified on during trial.00. lower than what was reported by Coloma. that is. the worth of public funds spent for the project does not match the meager benefit to be derived therefrom.A. Coloma failed to controvert the evidence against him. the presence of one would suffice for conviction. or (2) by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. namely: (1) by causing undue injury to any party.A. No. The disjunctive term "or" connotes that either act qualifies as a violation of Section 3(e) of R.the term "undue injury" in the context of Section 3(e) of the R. advantage or preference. 3019.

Following this test. and the delivery of the illegal drug must be the subject of strict scrutiny by courts to insure that law-abiding citizens are not unlawfully induced to commit an offense. the offer to purchase.39 In light of these guiding principles.the presumption of innocence of the accused until proven beyond reasonable doubt. However. the promise or payment of the consideration. we rule that the prosecution failed to present a clear picture on what really transpired on the buy-bust operation. it is an utmost importance to prove the identity of the narcotic substance itself as it constitutes the very corpus delicti of the offense and the fact of its existence is vital to sustain a judgment of conviction.R. the prosecution must establish the identity of the buyer and the seller. the absence of ill motive or ill will is ordinarily considered by this Court as proof that the statements of the police officers is credible. misapprehended. it must be similarly noted that the presumption of regularity in the performance of duty of public officers does not outweigh another recognized presumption . 57 . the offer to purchase the drug.38cralawlawlibrary Similarly. 189850 September 22. warrant the acquittal of accusedappellant. the payment of the buy-bust money. the evaluation of the trial court of the credibility of the witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great weight and generally not disturbed upon appeal. the contradictions. until the consummation of the sale by the delivery of the illegal subject of sale. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. In illegal sale of dangerous drugs.37 the Court ruled that generally. The manner by which the initial contact was made. v. to establish a concrete case. Plaintiff-Appellee. In this present case. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. No. RICHARD GUINTO Y SAN ANDRES. one of the means used by the Court in determining the credibility of the prosecution witnesses is the objective test. However. prosecution must be able to present a complete picture detailing the buy-bust operation—from the initial contact between the poseur-buyer and the pusher. vs. It is therefore imperative for the prosecution to first establish beyond reasonable doubt the identity of the dangerous drug before asserting other arguments.G. True. through the Office of the Solicitor General. 23 Hence. No. presumption of regularity of performance of duty prevails. G. the object and consideration of the sale and the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. in the absence of any improper motive. or misapplied any fact of weight or substance. Plaintiff-Appellee.R. As maintained by the People. such rule does not apply when the trial court has overlooked. Roble. Accused-Appellant. numerous and material. September 24. in order to establish the credibility of prosecution witnesses regarding the conduct of buy-bust operation. In People v. 198314.

appellant and his coaccused simultaneously assaulted the latter. they immediately fled the scene of the crime. While Ronnie was wrestling with Espino. Dr. A conviction requires certitude that the robbery is the main purpose and objective of the malefactor and the killing ismerely incidental to the robbery.37 "There is abuse of superior strength when the offenders took advantage of their combined strength in order to consummate the offense. Accused-Appellant. Accused. "Robbery with homicide exists ‘when a homicide is committed either by reason. While Espino was lying defenseless on the ground. appellant and his four companions not only took advantage of their numerical superiority. of the robbery. The intent to rob must precede the taking of human life but the killing may occur before. BOBBY TORRES @ ROBERTO TORRES y NAVA. or on occasion."28 The weapons are not the corpus delicti. they divested him of all his valuables. We have always ruled that alibi and denial are inherently weak defenses and must be brushed aside when the prosecution has sufficiently and positively ascertained the identity of the accused. Thereafter.’"32 In this case. on the other hand. it does not refer to the ransom money in the crime of kidnapping for ransom or to the body of the person murdered’ or. and (4) on the occasion or by reason of the robbery. this Court has ruled that even a single witness’ uncorroborated testimony. it is only axiomatic thatpositive testimony prevails over negative testimony. the corpus delictiwas established by the evidence on record.REYNALDO TORRES. the crime of homicide. The prosecution eyewitnesses testified that appellant and his cohorts used knives to perpetrate the crime. Moreover. was unarmed and defenseless. [the weapons used in the commission of robbery with homicide]. To sustain a conviction for robbery with homicide. 58 . 39 It is clear that they executed the criminal act by employing physical superiorityover Espino. was committed. Appellant is therefore mistaken in arguing that the failure to present the weapons used in killing Espino was fatal to the cause of the prosecution. Espino. ‘Since the corpus delictiis the fact of the commission of the crime. In its legal sense. they were also armed with knives. Salen who conducted the post-mortem examination. during or after the robbery’. Their testimonies on the existence and use of weapons in committing the offense was supported by the medical findings of Dr. (2) with intent togain. if credible may suffice to prove it and warrant a conviction therefor. Corpus delictimay even be established by circumstantial evidence. the prosecution must prove the following elements: (1) the taking of personal property belonging to another. (3) with the use of violence or intimidation against a person. in this case. Salen found that Espino sustained several stab wounds with varying measurements which were caused by sharp bladed instruments. JAY TORRES. and RONNIE TORRES. Corpus delicti refers to the fact of the commission of the crime charged or to the body or substance of the crime." 38 Here. The unidentified companion locked his arm around the neck of Espino while appellant and his co-accused stabbed and hacked him several times. BOBBY TORRES @ ROBERTO TORRES y NAVA. as usedin its generic sense.

335. mistake or imperfection in the written agreement. it is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be. Thus. (b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto. or denial on his part of such receipt[. or under any other obligation involving the duty to make delivery of or to return the same[. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. duties. and (d) there is demand by the offended party to the offender. Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that a party to a written agreement may present evidence to modify. Petitioner. admits of exceptions. 2014 NENITA CARGANILLO. goods or other personal property is received by the offender in trust or on commission. 192912 June 4.14 However. By using force or intimidation. this rule. taking into account the circumstances of each case. G. paragraph 1(b) of the Revised Penal Code. Accused-Appellant. the deception employed must be the causal (dolo causante) inducement to the making of the contract. between the parties and their successors in interest.19 and must be serious in character. or (d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written agreement.] (c) that such misappropriation or conversion or denial is to the prejudice of another. as amended. . September 22. For fraud to vitiate consent.R. Respondent. vs. known as the Parol Evidence Rule. Under Article 315. explain or add to the terms of the agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading the following: (a) An intrinsic ambiguity. v. 20 It must be sufficient to impress or lead an ordinarily prudent person into error.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Section 9. When and how rape is committed. Plaintiff-Appellee. No. or for administration. 182424. 59 . and obligations and is the best evidence of the parties’ intention. no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement.] (b) that there be misappropriation or conversion of such money or property by the offender. No. Art.13 It is settled that the agreement or contract between the parties is the formal expression of the parties’ rights.G. DEMOCRITO PARAS. when the terms of an agreement have been reduced into writing. the offense of estafa committed with abuse of confidence requires the following elements: (a) that money.R. (c) The validity of the written agreement.

or by some unknown individual. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. especially if the assailant is physically near. G. When the woman is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious. As long as the inaccuracies concern only minor matters. 196315. In a given situation. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Rape. LEONARDO CATAYTAY Y SILVANO. as amended. others may faint. The workings of the human mind when placed under emotional stress are unpredictable. v. Article 266-A. In this case. (Citations omitted. whenever the crime of rape is committed with the use of a deadly weapon the penalty shall be reclusion perpetua to death. the lesser penalty of reclusion perpetua was properly imposed. (Citation omitted. and still others may be frozen into silence. Consequently. and 3.) Under Article 335 of the Revised Penal Code. Whether the child which the rape victim bore was fathered by the accused.R.2. When and How Committed. d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented. Considering that there was neither any mitigating nor aggravating circumstance in the commission of the offense. threat or intimidation. c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority. b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or is otherwise unconscious. and such fact was testified to by the victim in a truthful manner. some may shout. Pregnancy is not an essential element of the crime of rape. the accused-appellant’s use of a gun in the commission of the rape against AAA was both specifically alleged in the information and proven during the trial of the case. Inaccuracies may even suggest that the witnesses are telling the truth and have not been rehearsed. Accused-Appellant. the same do not affect the credibility of witnesses. Inconsistencies and discrepancies in details which are irrelevant to the elements of the crime are not grounds for acquittal.) [P]eople react differently under emotional stress. October 22. Truth-telling witnesses are not always expected to give error-free testimonies considering the lapse of time and treachery of human memory. 60 . There is no standard form of behavior when one is confronted by a shocking incident. No. What is important and decisive is that the accused had carnal knowledge of the victim against the latter's will or without her consent. the failure of complainant to run away or shout for help at the very first opportunity cannot be construed consent to the sexual intercourse. is of no moment. — Rape is committed — 1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) Through force. Plaintiff-Appellee. even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.

that is. 11 In such operation. Article II of Republic Act No. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the poseur buyer transacts with the suspect by purchasing a quantity of the dangerous drug and paying the price agreed upon. Once the transaction is consummated. The Court of Appeals correctly modified the penalty to be simply reclusion perpetua. the phrase deprived of reason under paragraph 1 (b) has been interpreted to include those suffering from mental abnormality. or is in the act of committing. and the penalty of death should have been imposed. vs. can be properly classified as a person who is “deprived of reason. 934636 prohibiting the imposition of the death penalty. emotional disorder and/or physical handicap of the offended party at the time of the commission of the crime. Since the accused-appellant’s knowledge of AAA’s mental retardation was alleged in the Information and admitted by the former during the trial. madness.R. or is attempting to commit the 61 . the suspect has just committed. or insanity. characterized by marked decline from the individual's former intellectual level and often by emotional apathy. Plaintiff-Appellee. To secure the conviction of the accused who is charged with the illegal sale of dangerous drugs as defined and punished by Section 5. and can be held to account under the criminal law. deficiency. The RTC sentenced accused-appellant to suffer the penalty of imprisonment of twenty years and one day to forty years of reclusion perpetua. namely: (a) that the transaction or sale took place between the accused and the poseur buyer. of Republic Act No. No. AAA. the Indeterminate Sentence Law cannot be applied. who was clinically diagnosed to be a mental retardate. Since reclusion perpetua is an indivisible penalty. PABLITO ANDAYA y REANO. which is a condition of deteriorated mentality. however. G. or retardation. and in turn the drug pusher turns over or delivers the dangerous drug subject of their agreement in exchange for the price or other consideration.10 We reiterate that a buy-bust operation is a valid and legitimate form of entrapment of the drug pusher. Accused-Appellant. the penalty of reclusion perpetua shall instead be imposed.” The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances: x x x x 10. Thus.The term demented refers to a person who has dementia. the above special qualifying circumstance is applicable. and ( b) that the dangerous drugs subject of the transaction or sale is presented in court as evidence of the corpus delicti. 183700 October 13. When the offender knew of the mental disability.” and not one who is “demented. With the passage. On the other hand. the State must establish the concurrence of the following elements. 9165 (Comprehensive Drugs Act of 2002). the drug pusher is arrested. The justification that underlies the legitimacy of the buy-bust operation is that the suspect is arrested in jlagranti delicto.

K.” EUTIQUIANO ITCOBANES A.” Accused-Appellants.” NONOY ESTONILO-AT LARGE. EX-MAYOR CARLOS ESTONILO. The age-old rule is that the task of assigning values to the testimonies of witnesses on the witness stand and weighing their credibility is best left to the trial court which forms its first-hand impressions as a witness testifies before it. and (4) the killing of Floro was neither parricide nor infanticide.. Proof of the transaction must be credible and complete. SR.A. 201565. and Calvin were five of the nine perpetrators who killed him.A.” EUTIQUIANO ITCOBANES A. It is. 62 . 13 This responsibility imposed on the State accords with the presumption of innocence in favor of the accused. ORLANDO TAGALOG MATERDAM A. The Court finds that the prosecution unquestionably established these two elements. that bears the burden of proving the illegal sale of the dangerous drug beyond reasonable doubt. for trial courts have the advantage of observing the demeanor of witnesses as they testify. EX-MAYOR CARLOS ESTONILO.” AND CALVIN DELA CRUZ A.K. (3) that the killing was attended by any of the qualifying circumstances mentioned in Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code.K. To successfully prosecute the crime of murder. TITING BOOCAT LARGE.K. thus. as well as treachery as below discussed.. MAYOR REINARIO “REY” ESTONILO. who has no duty to prove his innocence until and unless the presumption of innocence in his favor has been overcome by sufficient and competent evidence.. (2) that the accused killed him or her. 54chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary In this case. “NONONG ITCOBANES. GALI ITCOBANES-AT LARGE. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.A. (3) the killing was attended by the qualifying circumstance of evident premeditation as testified to by prosecution eyewitnesses. MAYOR REINARIO “REY” ESTONILO. SR.K. and no other.A. “EDEL ESTONILO. a badge of respect. the second and third elements are essentially contested by the defense. Nonong. “BULLDOG DELA CRUZ. No. EDELBRANDO ESTONILO A.K. “EDEL ESTONILO. v. October 13.offense in the presence of the arresting police officer or private person. G. Plaintiff-Appellee.R. “NONONG ITCOBANES.A. as a rule. the following elements must be established:53 (1) that a person was killed. Rey. it is the State. (2) Ex-Mayor Carlos.A. “NEGRO MATERDAM.A. Servando and Antipolo. Edel.K. the prosecution was able to clearly establish that (1) Floro was killed. “BULLDOG DELA CRUZ. In every criminal prosecution. and (4) that the killing is not parricide or infanticide. 12 The arresting police officer or private person is favored in such instance with the presumption of regularity in the performance of official duty.” Accused. Sr. no surprise that findings and conclusions of trial courts on the credibility of witnesses enjoy. Of the four elements. EDELBRANDO ESTONILO A.” AND CALVIN DELA CRUZ A.

say “ipatumba si Floro Casas.’s house when they were plotting to kill Floro. Accusedappellants Edel and Nonong were on standby also holding their firearms to insure the success of their “mission” without risk to themselves. and three others served as lookouts. Whether this order was executed can be answered by relating it to Antipolo’s eyewitness account as well as Serapion’s testimony. For treachery to be present.” Third. and (2) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means. The accused-appellants. the prosecution was able to establish that the accused-appellants planned to kill Floro on two separate occasions. Masbate.57 The accused-appellants’ alibis that they were at different places at the time of the shooting are negative and self-serving and cannot be given more evidentiary value vis-à-vis the affirmative testimony of credible witnesses. Circumstantial evidence is that evidence which proves a fact or series of facts from which the facts in issue may be established by inference. the circumstantial evidence consists of the testimonies of Servando and Serapion. affording the hapless. unarmed and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. Treachery also attended the killing of Floro. who testified having seen the accused-appellants leaving the school a few minutes after he heard the gunshots. the prosecution presented pieces of evidence which when joined together point to the accused-appellants as the offenders. that the two principal accused in this case are prominent political figures. Second. two elements must concur: (1) at the time of the attack. The essence of treachery is that the attack is deliberate and without warning. ordered his men to kill Floro. Serapion also recounted having heard one of them said “mission accomplished sir. 55 It consists of proof of collateral facts and circumstances from which the existence of the main fact may be inferred according to reason and common experience. In this case. Antipolo was an eyewitness to the killing. Servando was present when Mayor Carlos. Alibi and denial are inherently weak defenses and must be brushed aside when the prosecution has sufficiently and positively ascertained the identity of the accused as in this case. Sr. the victim. More so. the victim was not in a position to defend himself. The twin defenses of denial and alibi raised by the accused-appellants must fail in light of the positive identification made by Antipolo and Serapion. who was Rey’s opponent for the position of mayor in Placer. methods. familiar with one another. Hence. Therefore. It was Floro’s support for Vicente Cotero. 63 . His testimony was corroborated by another witness.56 Here. He also heard Mayor Carlos. The prosecution witness. Mayor Carlos. there is no denying that their collective acts point to a clear case of treachery. done in a swift and unexpected way.” after which. therefore. ordered them to leave. Servando. or forms of attack employed by him. Sr. It is also axiomatic that positive testimony prevails over negative testimony. the prosecution witnesses could not have been mistaken on the accused-appellants’ identity including those who remained at large. Sr. there is motive to kill Floro. and the prosecution witnesses reside in the same municipality and are. Serapion. was present in Mayor Carlos. Sr. accused-appellant Nonoy and accused Negro successively fired at Floro about seven times – and the victim sustained 13 gunshot wounds all found to have been inflicted at close range giving the latter no chance at all to evade the attack and defend himself from the unexpected onslaught.For the second element. Foremost.

208169. as affirmed by the Court of Appeals. there arises the complex crime of direct assault with murder or homicide.11 Section 21. Accused-Appellant. Plus the fact that there exists an aggravating circumstance. the penalty for which is that for the graver offense. the accused-appellants utterly failed to satisfy the above-quoted requirements. 9346. the following two (2) elements must be duly established: (1) proof that the transaction or sale took place. thus. In prosecutions for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. But the imposition of death penalty has been prohibited by Republic Act No. entitled “An Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty in the Philippines”. plant sources of dangerous drugs. Seized. the imposable penalty should have been death. When the assault results in the killing of that agent or of a person in authority for that matter. and his other co-accused. No. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. the accused must demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the crime scene and its immediate vicinity when the crime was committed. properly imposed upon accused-appellants the penalty of reclusion perpetua. provides for the penalty of reclusion perpetua to death for the felony of murder. Controlled Precursors and Essential Chemicals. 58 Here. unnoticed. and/or Surrendered Dangerous Drugs.The PDEA shall take charge and have custody of all dangerous drugs. G. for proper disposition in the following manner: 64 . the accused must prove the following: (i) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime. admitted that they were near the school before the incident and at the school minutes after the killing took place. to be imposed in the maximum period. Instruments/Paraphernalia and/or Laboratory Equipment. Sr.Further. the proper penalty is death. the distance was not too far as to preclude the presence of accused-appellants at the school. Plant Sources of Dangerous Drugs. Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code. thus. pursuant to Article 63. the RTC. v. and/or for them to slip away from where they were supposed to be. and (ii) that it was physically impossible for him to be at the scene of the crime during its commission. it has been held that for the defense of alibi to prosper. seized and/or surrendered. Mayor Carlos. October 08. 7659. Certainly. as amended by Republic Act No. EDWARD ADRIANO Y SALES. In fact. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment so confiscated. except for Nonong.R. Plaintiff-Appellee. and (2) the presentation in court of the corpus delicti or the illicit drug as evidence. . The offense is a complex crime. Custody and Disposition of Confiscated. Physical impossibility involves the distance and the facility of access between the crime scene and the location of the accused when the crime was committed. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. paragraph 2 of the Revised Penal Code.

which in this case. shall be issued within twenty-four (24) hours after the receipt of the subject item/s: Provided.chanrobleslaw (2) Within twenty-four (24) hours upon confiscation/seizure of dangerous drugs. "noncompliance with these requirements under justifiable grounds. a partial laboratory examination report shall be provisionally issued stating therein the quantities of dangerous drugs still to be examined by the forensic laboratory: Provided. it has been repeatedly noted by the Court. the Implementing Rules of R. Otherwise stated. 13 details of the unbroken chain of custody as found by the CA: The first link in the chain of custody is from the time PO1 Morales took possession of the plastic sachet of shabu from accused-appellant and marked the same with the initials "EAS".A. to the time the plastic sachet of shabu was brought to the Police Station. which shall be done under oath by the forensic laboratory examiner. The second link in the chain of custody is from the time the plastic sachet of shabu was brought from the Police Station. plant sources of dangerous drugs. the Implementing Rules allow the prosecution to establish an unbroken chain of custody of the seized item. That a final certification shall be issued on the completed forensic laboratory examination on the same within the next twenty-four (24) hours. That when the volume of the dangerous drugs. as long as the integrity and the evidentiary value of the seized items are properly preserved by the apprehending officer/team. The letter65 . and any elected public official who shall be required to sign the copies of the inventory and be given a copy thereof. However. plant sources of dangerous drugs. to the PNP Crime Laboratory. or his/her representative or counsel.chanrobleslaw (3) A certification of the forensic laboratory examination results. as well as instruments/paraphernalia and/or laboratory equipment. controlled precursors and essential chemicals. the same shall be submitted to the PDEA Forensic Laboratory for a qualitative and quantitative examination. a representative from the media and the Department of Justice (DOJ).(1) The apprehending team having initial custody and control of the drugs shall. A letter-request was made for the laboratory examination of the contents of the plastic sachet of shabu seized from accused-appellant. PO2 Ronnie Fabroa. To prove that the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved. and the accused-appellant. No. 9165 offer some measure of flexibility through the proviso. "Chain of custody" means the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. noncompliance does not invalidate the seizure or render the arrest of the accused illegal or the items seized from him as inadmissible as long as the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items are preserved. physically inventory and photograph the same in the presence of the accused or the person/s from whom such items were confiscated and/or seized. however. and controlled precursors and essential chemicals does not allow the completion of testing within the time frame. shall not render void and invalid such seizures of and custody over said items". The Certificate of Inventory for the items seized from accused-appellant was signed by PO1 Morales. has been duly established by the prosecution. immediately after seizure and confiscation.

without anybody inducing or prodding him to commit the offense. depriving the latter of any chance to defend himself and thereby 66 . the prosecution duly proved the existence of the two elements of the crime of illegal sale of shabu and established the integrity and evidentiary value of the seized items. The presumption of regularity in favor of the arresting officers prevails.18 There is treachery when the following essential elements are present. the violation of the CDDA of 2002 was duly proven.request.16 we discussed buy-bust operation as a form of a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers:ChanRoblesVirtualawlibrary A buy-bust operation is a form of entrapment which in recent years has been accepted as a valid and effective mode of apprehending drug pushers.R. the defense failed to present any proof to substantiate its imputation of ill-motive on the part of the arresting officers. despite the arresting officers' failure to strictly observe the requirements of Section 21 on the custody and disposition of the seized items."15 In People v. were delivered to the PNP Crime Laboratory by PO2 Del Rosario. the contents of the plastic sachet tested positive for shabu. in the case at bar. Appellants. vs. the idea to commit a crime originates from the offender. The arresting officers duly recorded the movements and custody of the seized items from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt by the forensic laboratory to safekeeping up to presentation in court. However. No. employing means. a buy-bust operation deserves judicial sanction. Contrarily. and (b) the accused consciously and deliberately adopted the particular means. A buy-bust operation is "a form of entrapment. G. The essence of treachery is the sudden and unexpected attack by an aggressor on the unsuspecting victim. or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and speciallyto insure its execution. Appellee. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. CHARLIE FIELDAD. the victim was not in a position to defend himself. The presumption may be overcome by clear and convincing evidence.17chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Finally. Per Chemistry Report No. RYAN CORNISTA. in which the violator is caught in flagrante delicto and the police officers conducting the operation are not only authorized but duty-bound to apprehend the violator and to search him for anything that may have been part of or used in the commission of the crime. In a buy-bust operation. If carried out with due regard for constitutional and legal safeguards. method or form of attack employed by him. the arresting officers enjoy the presumption of regularity in the performance of their official duties. viz: (a) at the time of the attack.14chanRoblesvirtualLawlibrary Thus. D-334-08 prepared by Police Senior Inspector Yelah Manaog. and EDGAR PIMENTEL. and plastic sachet of shabu. without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might take. Agulay. methods. There is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person. 196005 October 1.

00. and then shot him even as hepleaded for dear life. This right is afforded to any person under investigation for the commission of an offense whose confession or admission may not be taken unless he is informed of his right to remain silent and to havecompetent and independent counsel of his own choice. the paraffin test proved positively thathe just recently fired a gun.00 as moral damages.21 treachery was appreciated in the killing of three peace officers. A conspiracy exists when two or more persons come to an agreement concerning the commission of a felony and decide to commit it. 23 Positive identification of the accused is entitled to greater weight than the bare denial and explanation by the accused. Again. the trial court correctly ordered appellant to pay to the heirs of each deceased the amounts of P75. under the sixth assigned error.24 As to the paraffin test to which the appellant was subjected to he raises the question. It is a settled rule that the evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is a matter best undertaken by the trial court because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses firsthand and to note their demeanor. 9346 or the Act Prohibiting the Imposition of Death Penalty. the penalty of reclusion perpetua was properly imposed. the amount of exemplary damages must be increased to P30. conduct and attitude under grilling examination. They were attending an event where many armed peace officers were present to maintain peace and order.20 In the case of People v.000.000. His right against self incrimination is not violated by the taking of the paraffin test of his hands. the victim suffered six wounds. This constitutional right extends only to testimonial compulsion and not when the body of the accused is proposed to be examined as in this case. In that case.ensuring its commission withour risk of himself. He was shot at close range. Juan and Victor were armed with handguns. They first disarmed SPO1 Manio. concerted action and community of interest. another on the right breast. it must be stated that Fieldad is not eligible for parole pursuant to Section 3 of Republic Act No. Tabaco. Treachery may also be appreciated even if the victim was warned of the danger to his life where he was defenseless and unable to flee atthe time of the infliction of the coup de grace. he was defenseless. another on the right ear. Indeed. the victims were completely taken by surprise and had no means of defending themselves against the sudden attack.one on the shoulder. 39 Conspiracy can be inferred from and established by the acts of the accused themselves when said acts point to a joint purpose and design. When the victim was shot.000. Since treachery qualified the killingsto murder and there being no aggravating nor mitigating circumstances. one on the mouth. However. that it was not conducted in the presence of his lawyer. Jr. however. Consistent with prevailing jurisprudence.41 Exemplary damages 67 .00 as civil indemnity and P50.40 Once conspiracy is shown the act of one is the act of all the conspirators. thus insuring his death. In the case at bar. one of whom was armed and assigned to maintain the peace and order. one on the upper right cornea of the sternum and one above the right iliac crest. this kind of evidence buttresses the case of the prosecution.

we find that holding the debtor's president to answer for a criminal offense under B. 68 . Thus. (When the reason for the law ceases.500. 45 Intent to gain or animus lucrandiis an internal act.R.) It is not the letter alone but the spirit of the law also that gives it life.349. viaauction sale. The trial court awarded the amounts of P153. Petitioner.00 and P87. (2) the offender intends to gain from the taking of the vehicle. the law ceases.45. (3) the vehicle belongs to a person other than the offender himself. We must find if the application of the law is consistent with the purpose of and reason for the law. November 26. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. and (4) the taking is without the consent of the owner thereof. 2014 ARIEL T. v. or by using force upon things. The creditor having collected already more than a sufficient amount to cover the value of the checks for payment of rentals. 22 two years after said collection is no longer tenable nor justified by law or equitable considerations. for loss of earning capacity. presumed from the unlawful taking of the motor vehicle. While we agree with the private respondent that the gravamen of violation of B. Actual gain is irrelevant as the important consideration is the intent to gain. LIM. el cessat lex.00 to the heirs of JO2 Gamboa and JO1 Bacolor. applying the formula Net earning capacity = {2/3 x [80 – age at the time of death] x [gross annual income– reasonable and necessary living expenses]}43 Elements of Carnapping Carnapping is the taking.028. The term "gain" is not merely limited to pecuniary benefit but also includes the benefit which in any other sense may be derived orexpected from the act which is performed.P.845.42 The award of actual damages for the expenses incurred in connection with the funerals of JO2 Gamboa and JO1 Bacolor in the amounts of P47. 190834. the mere use of the thing which was taken without the owner’s consent constitutes gain. Ratione cessat lex. or it was committed by means of violence against or intimidation of persons.00 and P178. respectively. Respondent. G. This is especially so in this case where a debtor's criminalization would not serve the ends of justice but in fact subvert it.P. or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons. or by using force upon things. with intent to gain. are supported by receipts and are in order. No. 44 The elements of the crime of carnapping are that: (1) there is an actual taking of the vehicle. we should not apply penal laws mechanically.are recoverable due to the presence of the qualifying aggravating circumstance of treachery in the commission of the crimes. 22 is the issuance of worthless checks that are dishonored upon their presentment for payment. of a motor vehicle belonging to another without consent. respectively.

Therein. one of the essential elements of the violation is no longer present and the drawer may no longer be indicted for B. the Court enumerated the elements for violation of B. and (3) The check is subsequently dishonored by the drawee bank for insufficiency of funds or credit. We hold that petitioner herein could not be validly and justly convicted or sentenced for violation of B. 22. 22." It thus appears that the total amount of the dishonored checks ." 10 To facilitate proving the second element. Evidently.P. And since penal laws should not be applied mechanically. ordered the bank to stop payment.9 the foregoing principle articulated in Griffith was the precedent cited to justify the acquittal of the accused in said case.trust properties surrendered by petitioner in about mid 1991 and March 1992 pursuant to Section 7 of the Trust Receipts Law. If the check. Blg. 22. if made beyond the 5-day period provided for in B. Blg.785. however. The fact that 69 . although payment of the value of the bounced check.P. x x x11 (Underscoring supplied) Thus.In sum. or it would have been dishonored for the same reason had not the drawer. is made good or the drawer pays the value of the check within the five-day period. considering that the money value of the two checks issued by petitioner has already been effectively paid two years before the informations against him were filed.In keeping with jurisprudence. Just like in Griffith and in Tan. the Court must determine whether the application of the penal law is consistent with the purpose and reason of the law. within five banking days thereafter. then the presumption is rebutted. PCIB already extracted its proverbial pound of flesh by receiving and keeping in possession the four buses . without any valid reason.12 petitioner should not be penalized although all the elements of violation of B. or credit with the drawee bank for the payment of the check in full upon its presentment. It is consistent rule that penal statutes are construed strictly against the State and liberally in favor of the accused.P.P1. which is established when it is shown that the drawer of the check was notified of its dishonor and. x x x8(Emphasis supplied) In the more recent case of Tan v. as the Court further elaborated in Tan: In the present case. failed to fully pay the amount of the check or make arrangements for its full payment. Generally. 22 being "(1) The accused makes.6 million.75 -. Blg. Said payment within the period prescribed by the law is a complete defense. would normally not extinguish criminal liability. the aforementioned cases show that the Court acknowledges the existence of extraordinary cases where. Philippine Commercial International Bank. the conviction of the accused would prove to be abhorrent to society's sense of justice.1992 letter of demand. the law created a prima facie presumption of knowledge of insufficiency of funds or credit. the Court then considers such payment of the dishonored checks to have obliterated the criminal liability of petitioner. only the full payment of the value of the dishonored check during the five-day grace period would exculpate the accused from criminal liability under B. draws or issues a check to apply to account or for value.P. even if all the elements of the crime or offense are present. Big. (2) The accused knows at the time of the issuance that he or she does not have sufficient funds in. Blg. 22 are proven to be present.855. the estimated value of which was "about P6.P. 22 but.P. we find merit in this petition. x x x was more than fully satisfied prior to the transmittal and receipt of the July 9.

Plaintiff-Appellee. 22. No. Finally. the Court's ruling in this case should be well differentiated from cases where the accused is charged with estafa under Article 315.P.R. In said case of estafa. In such a case. par. Big. or his funds deposited therein were not sufficient to cover the amount of the check. For the defense of alibi to prosper. "the accused must prove(a) that he was present at another place at the time of the perpetration of the crime. Big. We have consistently ruled that positive identification by credible witnesses prevails over selfserving statements of the accused. he was working at a construction site 8 to 9 kilometers away from the scene of the crime. He argues that it was thus impossible for him to be the person who stabbed and killed Romeo. is the protection of the credibility and stability of the banking system. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. then there is no equitable and compelling reason to preclude his prosecution. to avoid any confusion. In effect. Since from the commencement of the criminal proceedings in court. Such statements cannot be given greater evidentiary weight over affirmative declarations of eyewitnesses. for B. or issuing a check in payment of an obligation when the offender had no funds in the bank. the payment of the checks before the filing of the informations has already attained the purpose of the law. 190322 November 26. The spirit of the law which. G. and (b) that it was physically impossible for him tobe at the scene of the crime"16during its commission. Accused-Appellant. 22. would not be served by penalizing people who have evidently made amends for their mistakes and made restitution for damages even before charges have been filed against them.the issuer of the check had already paid the value of the dishonored check after having received thesubpoena from the Office of the Prosecutor should have forestalled the filing of the Information in court.P. paying the value of the dishonored check will not free the accused from criminal liability. The Court finds that appellant’s assertion is a mere speculation that deserves scant consideration. It should be emphasized as well that payment of the value of the bounced check after the information has been filed in court would no longer have the effect of exonerating the accused from possible conviction for violation of B. Furthermore. there is no circumstance whatsoever to show that the accused had every intention to mitigate or totally alleviate the ill effects of his issuance of the unfunded check. In such a case. vs. "Physical impossibility refers to distance and 70 . 2(d) of the Revised Penal Code. where the fraud is perpetuated by postdating a check. damage and deceit are the essential elements of the offense. It will merely satisfy the civil liability of the crime but not the criminal liability. VIRGILIO AMORA y VISCARRA. His explanation is neither supported by evidentiary proof nor buttressed by established facts. appellant claims that at the time of the commission of the crime. the letter of the law should be applied to its full extent. and the check is merely the accused's tool in committing fraud.

eyewitnesses positively identified the appellant to be present at the scene of the crime. no opportunity being given to the latter to defend himself or to retaliate. methods or forms in the execution thereof which tend directly and specially to ensure its execution.eight years and one day to 10 years -was proper because there were no mitigating or aggravating circumstances present. He must demonstrate that he was so far away and could not have been physically present at the scene of the crime and its immediate vicinity when the crime was committed. G. "Time and again. four months and 28 days old when he committed the homicide on March 30. unarmed. the minimum of the indeterminate sentence should be within the penalty next lower than the imposable penalty. and unsuspecting victim no chance to resist or escape. Respondent. Records show that appellant initially came from behind and then attacked Romeo from the front. and (2) the means.8 such minority was a privileged mitigating circumstance that lowered the penalty to prision mayor. which. 176102. Undoubtedly.R. prision mayor in its medium period ."17 In any case. 2000. For the maximum of the indeterminate sentence. the following requisites must be shown: (1) the employment of means. was prision correccional (i. "[e]ven a frontal attack could be treacherous when unexpected and on an unarmed victim who would be in no position to repel the attack or avoid it. November 26. Under the Indeterminate Sentence Law. Petitioner.deliberate.e. Accordingly. without risk to himself arising from the defense which the offended party might make.. v. In any event." Thus in order for the qualifying circumstance of treachery to be appreciated. or manner of execution was deliberately or consciously adopted by the offender. method. 2014 ROSAL HUBILLA Y CARILLO. and unexpected manner. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. the RTC and CA correctly held that the crime committed was murder under Article 248 of the RPC by reason of the qualifying circumstance of treachery. six months and one day to six years). herein. "The essence of treachery is that the attack comes without a warning and in a swift."18 Paragraph 16. affording the hapless. the CA imposed the indeterminate penalty of 71 .the facility of access between the situs criminisand the location of the accused when the crime was committed. or manner of execution would ensure the safety of the malefactor from the defensive or retaliatory acts of the victim. employing means. being 17 years. Article 14 of the RPC provides that"[t]here is treachery when the offender commits any of the crimes against the person. Considering that the petitioner was then a minor at the time of the commission of the crime. No." 21 as in this case. this Court has consistently ruled that positive identification prevails over alibi since the latter can easily be fabricated and is inherently unreliable. method. Article 249 of the Revised Penal Code prescribes the penalty of reclusion temporal for homicide."19 It is of no consequence that appellant was in front of Romeo when he thrust the knife to his torso.

Return of the Child in Conflict with the Law to Court. For this reason. 9344 nowhere allows the trial and appellate courts the discretion to reduce or lower the penalty further. the amended decision of the CA imposed the ultimate minimums of the indeterminate penalty for homicide under theIndeterminate Sentence Law. to order execution of sentence. to wit: Section 40. or to extend the suspended sentence for a certain specified period or until the child reaches the maximum age of twenty-one (21) years. Thereby. 9344 allows the suspension of the sentence of a child in conflict with the law adjudged as guilty of a crime. subject to certain restrictions on the imposition of imprisonment. A. we annul the directive of the CA to remand the case to the trial court to determine if he was qualified for probation. On its part. 12 which disqualifies from probation an offender sentenced to serve a maximum term of imprisonment of more than six years. 9344 reveals. as minimum. 02-1-18-SC10 (Rule on Juveniles in Conflict with the Law) provides certain guiding principles in the trial and judging in cases involving a child in conflict with the law. No. pursuant to Section 40 of Republic Act No. Although Section 38 of Republic Act No. We note that the petitioner was well over 23 years of age at the time of his conviction for homicide by the RTC on July 19. or if the child in conflict with the law has wilfully failed to comply with the conditions of his/her disposition or rehabilitation program. Republic Act No. If said child in conflict with the law has reached eighteen (18) years of age while under suspended sentence. the child in conflict with the law shall be brought before the court for execution of judgment. namely: (a) the detention or imprisonment is a disposition of last resort. even for the sake of enabling the child in conflict with the law to qualify for probation. One of them is that found in Section 46 (2). Hence. 2006. While Section 5 (c) of Republic Act No. the suspension is available only until the child offender turns 21 years of age.M.11 Consistent with this principle. and (b) the detention or imprisonment shall be for the shortest appropriate period of time. 9344 by imposing the penalty of imprisonment on the petitioner simply because the penalty was imposed as a last recourse after holding him to be disqualified from probation and from the suspension 72 . as maximum. in conjunction with Section 5 (k). the trial and appellate courts did not violate the letter and spirit of Republic Act No. however.imprisonment of six months and one day of prision correccional. 9344. to eight years and one day of prision mayor. whereby the restrictions on the personal liberty of the child shall be limited to the minimum. the court shall determine whether to discharge the child in accordance with this Act. the suspension of his sentence was no longer legally feasible or permissible. -If the court finds that the objective of the disposition measures imposed upon the child in conflict with the law have not been fulfilled. imprisonment as a proper disposition of a case is duly recognized. 9344 bestows on children in conflict with the law the right not to be unlawfully or arbitrarily deprived of their liberty. Conformably with Section 9(a) of Presidential Decree 968. A review of the provisions of Republic Act No. that imprisonment of children in conflict with the law is by no means prohibited. the petitioner could not qualify for probation.

In this case. 325).of his sentence. v. viz: Have the foregoing elements been met in the case at bar? We find the first element absent. He was found liable for qualified theft on the theory that the possession of the teller is the possession of the bank. Juridical possession means a possession which gives the transferee a right over the thing which the transferee may set up even against the owner. Chua-Burce is instructive anent what constitutes mere material possession. in support of its theory that appellant only had the material possession of the 73 . the receiving teller of a bank misappropriated the money received by him for the bank. removed the money and appropriated it to his own use without the consent of the bank. Petitioner.14 the United Nations Guidelines for the Prevention of Juvenile Delinquency (Riyadh Guidelines) and the United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of Liberty15 are consistent in recognizing that imprisonment is a valid form of disposition. 2014 MARGIE BALERTA. on one hand. Respondent. Her possession of the cash belonging to the bank is akin to that of a bank teller. with grave abuse of confidence. the offender acquires both material or physical possession and juridical possession of the thing received. and juridical possession. however. In People v. both being mere bank employees.” In the subsequent case of Guzman v. Locson. Court of Appeals . we explained the distinction between possession of a bank teller and an agent for purposes of determining criminal liability – “The case cited by the Court of Appeals (People vs. We explained in Locson that – “The money was in the possession of the defendant as receiving teller of the bank. A survey of relevant international agreements13 supports the course of action taken herein. G. on the other. 57 Phil. November 26. He was. found liable for estafa under Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. or any other personal property is received by the offender from the offended party (1) in trust or (2) on commission or (3) foradministration. a travelling sales agent misappropriated or failed to return to his principal the proceeds of things or goods he was commissioned or authorized to sell. and not qualified theft. there was the taking or apoderamiento contemplated in the definition of the crime of theft. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Guidelines). In the Guzmancase. provided it is imposed as a last resort and for the minimum necessary period. goods. and the term of his imprisonment was for the shortest duration permitted by the law. When the defendant. 205144. petitioner was a cash custodian who was primarily responsible for the cashin-vault. When the money. Locson.R. for the purpose of determining whether the first element of estafa is present in a particular case. and the possession of the defendant was the possession of the bank. No.

the presumption of innocence must prevail and the court must acquit. autonomous. alibi is an inherently weak defense and has always been viewed with disfavor by the courts due to the facility with which it can be concocted. as against his own principal. In the first place. the paltry evidence for the prosecution. the evidence of the defense is weak and uncorroborated. Plaintiff-Appellee. G. casts doubts anent the guilt of the petitioner. produces absolute certainty. as in this case. right to retain money or goods received in consequence of the agency. as when the principal fails to reimburse him for advances he has made. There is an essential distinction between the possession by a receiving teller of funds received from third persons paid to the bank. and an agent who receives the proceeds of sales of merchandise delivered to him in agency by his principal. and indemnify him for damages suffered without his fault(Article 1915.” 57chanrobleslaw “In a criminal case. An agent. In the former case. payment by third persons to the teller is payment to the bank itself. was held guilty of qualified theft on the theory that the possession of the teller is the possession of the bank. appellantmust prove not only that he was at some other place when the crime was committed but that it was physically impossible 74 . No. As invariably held by this Court. the receiving teller of a bank who misappropriated money received by him for the bank. such that one of which is consistent with the presumption of innocence and the other is compatible with guilt.” 58chanrobleslaw In the case at bar. can even assert. denial is an intrinsically weak defense which must be buttressed withstrong evidence of non-culpability to merit credibility. Proof beyond reasonable doubt does not mean such a degree of proof as. 194068 July 9. Moreover. or their proceeds. [N]ew Civil Code. Moral certainty only is required. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. cannot be used to advance the cause of the prosecution as the evidence for the prosecution must stand or fall on its own weight and cannot be allowed to draw strength from the weakness of the defense. however. excluding possibility of error. unless his guilt is shown beyond doubt. BENJIE CONSORTE y FRANCO. however. Accused-Appellant.” “Concededly. This. 11 For alibi to prosper. In said case. when the circumstances are capable of two or more inferences.R. that the constitutive acts of the offense must be established with unwavering exactitude and moral certainty because this is the critical and only requisite to a finding of guilt. and has no independent right or title to retain or possess the same as against the bank. vs. appellant relies on alibi for his defense. underscoring ours and italics in the original) “Fundamental is the precept in all criminal prosecutions. Article 1730. or that degree of proof which produces conviction in an unprejudiced mind.merchandise he was selling for his principal. consisting merely of Timonera’s testimony. the accused is entitled to an acquittal. the teller is a mere custodian or keeper of the funds received. and does not amply rebut her right to be presumed innocent of the crime charged. an independent. is not in point.10 Indeed. however.”51 (Citations omitted. old). on the other hand.

Fourth. let alone. Immediately after Aneline entered her house. But jurisprudence tells us that direct evidence of the crime is not the only matrix from which a trial court may draw its conclusion and finding of guilt.18 Indeed. as follows: First. Third.20 In the case at bar. Settled is the rule that when there is no evidence to show any dubious reason or improper motive why the prosecution witnesses should testify falsely against the accused or implicate him in a serious offense.1âwphi1 Alibi warrants the least credibility.17 Absent any ill motive on the part of witnesses. In this case. the defense failed to present convincing evidence to reinforce appellant’s denial and alibi. x x x. persecution of an innocent peron [sic]. "Physical impossibility in relation toalibi takes into consideration not only the geographical distance between the scene of the crime and the place where accused maintains he was. appellant himself did not accuse Rolando and Aneline of any [ill] motive to falsely testify against him and cause his damnation for such a serious crime of murder. she heard a gunshot and when she peeped through the window. Although he claims their loyalty belonged to the victim and her family. holding a gun.for him to be at the locus criminisat the time of its commission. Right before the incident. no prosecution witness has actually seen the commission of the crime. 12 In the case at bench. those circumstances were enumerated by the CA in its decision. she saw appellant standing by the side of the jeepney where Elizabeth’s lifeless body was sprawled. As long as the prosecution establishes the appellant’sparticipation in the crime through credible and sufficient circumstantial evidence that leads to the inescapable conclusion that the appellant committedthe imputed crime. the element of physical impossibility of appellant’s presence that fateful night at the crime scene has not been established. Aneline saw appellant running towards the direction of Elizabeth’s house. loyalty does not equate with perjury. which looked like a gun. 75 . It is significant to note that the distance between Binangonan (the scene of the crime) and Antipolo (where appellant claimed hewas at the time of the incident in question) is only about twenty (20) kilometers. Shortly after. right after he heard a gunshot. or none at all and cannot prevail over the positive identification of the appellant by the prosecution witnesses."15 In any case. their positive identification of the appellantas the perpetrator of the crime prevails over the defense of denial or alibi. Elizabeth got murdered the night before the initial hearing of the case. Appellant had an axe to grind against Elizabeth for filing a robbery case against him. the accessibility between these points. but more importantly. Notably. Second. Rolando saw appellant near the jeepney’s left rear. the latter should be convicted. the positive identification of the appellant by witnesses destroys the defense of alibi. their testimonies deserve full faith and credit. Aneline saw appellant holding something in his hand wrapped in a black cloth. 19The lack of direct evidence does not ipso facto bar the finding of guilt against the appellant. The rules on evidence allow a trial court to rely on circumstantial evidence to support its conclusion of guilt. Fifth.

Though it is true that the trial court’s evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their testimonies is entitled to great respect and will not be disturbed on appeal. All doubts must be resolved in favor of the accused." G. Accused-Appellant. we must reckon with a dictum of the law. . Plaintiff-Appellee. 308. Any person who. (ii) the facts from which the inference is derived are proven. if not finality. Rape. of observing the demeanor of the declarants in the course of their testimonies. – Rape is committed – 1. 207175. this rule. v. FRANCASIO DELFIN. No. v. The elements of rape under par. The exception is observed if there is a showing that the trial judge overlooked. November 26. 266-A. 190349. Under par. 2014 EDUARDO MAGSUMBOL. Hence. Petitioner. and (iii) the combination of all circumstances is such as to produce conviction beyond reasonable doubt. after having maliciously damaged the property of another. in dubilis reus est absolvendus. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. threat 76 or intimidation. All the foregoing elements were sufficiently established in this case.R. denied to appellate judges. No. Who are liable for theft. Article 266-A of the RPC are present in this case. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. rape is committed as follows: ART. 1. G. December 10. or misapplied some fact or circumstance of weight and substance that would have cast doubt on the guilt of the accused. 1(a). Art. It is a time-honored rule that the assessment of the trial court with regard to the credibility of witnesses deserves the utmost respect. shall remove or make use of the fruits or object of the damage caused by him. is not a hard and fast one. 1(a) Article 266-A of the RPC. for the reason that the trial judge has the prerogative. misunderstood.–: xxxx Theft is likewise committed by: xxxxx. Through force. Respondent. and xxx.9 The said exception apparently exists in the case at bench.R. however. By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a. When and How Committed."[C]ircumstantial evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction if (i) there is more than one circumstance.

(2) that the offender had carnal knowledge of a woman. It has been held “that inconsistencies on matters of minor details do not detract from the actual fact of rape. v. viz: First . the CA agreed with the RTC on this point and saw no reason to overturn the same. the inconsistencies in “AAA’s” statements are trivial matters that do not involve the essential elements of the crime. No. [as in this case.] the factual findings of the trial court shall not be disturbed. and especially when the findings of the judge have been adopted and affirmed by the CA. JOSE ESTALIN PRODENCIADO. In People v. (3) that such act is accomplished by using force or intimidation”15 These elements are present in this case. and. Accused-Appellant. 19 “The Court shall not supplant its own interpretation of the testimonies for that of the trial judge since he is in the best position to determine the issue of credibility”20 of witnesses being the one who had face-to-face interaction with the same. are shown to have been overlooked or disregarded. Sanchez. the rule is even more stringently applied if the CA concurred with the RTC. the reviewing court is generally bound by the lower court’s findings.16 we reiterated the guidelines laid down by this Court in addressing the issue of credibility of witnesses on appeal. 18 The reason behind this is that trial courts have firsthand account of the witnesses’ demeanor and deportment in court during trial. the trial court found “AAA’s” testimony to be credible as it was made in a simple and consistent manner. this Court likewise sees no reason to depart from the lower courts’ assessment of “AAA’s” testimony. the elements of rape under [the above-mentioned provision] are the following: (1) that the offender is a man. and spontaneous. credible. affecting the outcome of the case.”17 Besides. From its vantage point. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. “[I]n the absence of misapprehension of facts or grave abuse of discretion of the court a quo. 192232. And upon perusal of the records of this case.R.17 Here. Second . said inconsistencies cannot affect “AAA’s” credibility especially so when the RTC and the CA have already held that her testimony was straightforward. the trial court is in the best position to determine the truthfulness of witnesses. her statements pertaining to the identity of Prodenciado as her violator and the perverse 77 . Notably. December 10. The rule is well-settled that factual findings of the trial court regarding the credibility of witnesses are accorded great weight and respect especially if affirmed by the CA. And third . particularly when no significant facts and circumstances.” 21 G. considering its unique position in directly observing the demeanor of a witness on the stand. Indeed. absent any substantial reason which would justify the reversal of the RTC’s assessments and conclusions.xxxx “Pertinently. Indeed. the Court gives the highest respect to the RTC’s evaluation of the testimony of the witnesses. Plaintiff-Appellee.

she says in effect all that is necessary to show that rape has in fact been committed. particularly if she is a minor. He is thus expected to testify on the nature. since she was just a young girl when all these rapes were committed against her. Then there are those who opt not to dwell on their experience and try to live as though it never happened. this is how “AAA” tried to cope with the harrowing experience that befell her.” “AAA’s” failure to immediately report the rape incidents does not detract from the fact that they were committed. Arnulfo Imperial (Dr. some victims choose to suffer in silence. this does not divest the results of medical examination of any relevance. considering not only her relative vulnerability but also the shame to which she would be exposed if the matter to which she testified is not true. courts are inclined to give credit to her account of what transpired.” 33 such as rape. extent and location of the wounds. says that she has been raped. When the offended party is of tender age and immature. Time and again.” 31 It has been held that “different people react differently to different situations and there is no standard form of human behavioral response when one is confronted with a strange. Prodenciado.acts he visited upon her were straightforward and categorical. with whom she had sex. “the failure of the victim to immediately report the rape is not an indication of a fabricated charge and does not detract from the fact that rape was committed. is not so unbelievable nor is it contrary to human experience.”19 which in this case. Clearly. the Court has repeatedly held that it is not incumbent upon the victim to establish the date when she was raped for purposes of convicting the perpetrator. that “AAA” suffered hymenal lacerations. Youth and immaturity are generally badges of truth and sincerity.” 30 Besides. Verily. what is material is its occurrence. Cial35 it was explained that: [T]he examining physician was presented to testify only on the fact that he examined the victim and on the results of such examination. while others may be moved to action out of a need to seek justice for what was done to them. should she report the incident to her mother or the police. Moreover. InPeople v. This refers to the location and nature of the wounds suffered by the victim. among others. Moreover. Imperial) found.” 18 In rape cases. the date of commission is not an essential element of the offense. This is because “[i]n rape cases. “[t]estimonies of child-victims are normally given full weight and credit. neither does “AAA’s” resumption of a normal life after the incidents negate rape. was sufficiently established by “AAA. Imperial could not be expected to 78 . “AAA” did not reveal to anyone what Prodenciado was doing to her out of fear that he might make good his threats to kill her and her family. Dr. “AAA” simply knew no other way of life than what she was accustomed to. While it is true that the result of “AAA’s” medical examination only supports the fact that “AAA” has already had sexual intercourse and does not by itself establish that it was her father. the date of commission is not an essential element of the offense. startling or frightful experience. To the Court’s mind. in one case. we have recognized that “[t]he fear of [the victim] that her father would kill her and the other members of her family. since when a girl. Dr. Indeed.

45 However. such as an erected penis. is sufficient to convict the accused of the crime. testified as to the location and nature of the same. and is deprived of reason or otherwise 3.37 It is only “AAA” herself who can positively state the source of her hymenal lacerations. and no law requires a medical examination for the successful prosecution thereof. the result of the medical examination and the testimony of the examining physician thereon are essential to establish only the nature. The crime of rape shall be punished by reclusion perpetua. Article 335 of the RPC as amended by RA 7659 was already the pertinent law in rape cases. When the woman unconscious. 335. he is not eligible for parole. xxxx As such. When and how rape is committed. . who caused the same when he repeatedly raped her. if credible. Viray. And as shown by the overwhelming evidence for the prosecution. 2. The relevant portions thereof provide: 79 . she has sufficiently demonstrated that it was her own father. Clearly. horseback riding x x x or the insertion of a hard object into the vagina of the victim x x x such as the penis.” He could only surmise that the lacerations could have been caused “by activities like cycling. Dr. The examining physician. the CA was correct in upholding Prodenciado’s conviction for statutory rape and imposing upon him the penalty of reclusion perpetua. 9346 46 (RA 9346). The medical examination of the victim or the presentation of the medical certificate is not essential to prove the commission of rape as the testimony of the victim alone.” He could only theorize that they may have been caused by the insertion of a hard object. “AAA’s” medical certificate reveals that she sustained hymenal lacerations. Prodenciado. However. For the rape in 1995 (second rape). Dr. The medical report is by no means controlling. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented.39 (Emphasis supplied) Art. By using force or intimidation.establish the cause of such lacerations with particularity because he has no personal knowledge of how these hymenal lacerations were inflicted on “AAA. The medical examination of the victim as well as the medical certificate is merely corroborative in character. Viray did not state on the said medical certificate or in his testimony the exact cause of said lacerations as he has no personal knowledge as to how they were inflicted on “AAA.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. This Court has repeatedly held that a medical examination of the victim is not indispensable in the prosecution for rape. Verily. in view of Republic Act No. extent and locations of the wounds and not the cause thereof.

guardian. or the common-law-spouse of the parent of the victim Article 266-A. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree. ascendant. December 10. Rape: When And How Committed. The crime x of rape shall be punished x by reclusion perpetua. When and how rape is committed. 80 . threat.R. or the common-law spouse of the parent of the victim. - x x x x x x x The death penalty shall also be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following aggravating/qualifying circumstances: l) When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent. By using force or intimidation. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.Rape is committed: 1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: a) Through force. Respondent. relative by consanguinity or affinity within the third civil degree.Rape is committed by having carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances: 1. . x Article x x x 266-B. step-parent. xxxx As such. his penalty therefor shall also be reclusion perpetua without eligibility for parole for each of the two counts of qualified rape. ascendant. or intimidation. Petitioner. VALENCERINA. step-parent.Art. When the woman is under twelve years of age or is demented. G. 2014 ALEX M. guardian. 206162. 335. 2. When the woman unconscious. No. . Penalty. x x The death penalty shall x x x be imposed if the crime of rape is committed with any of the following attendant circumstances: 1. and is deprived of reason or otherwise 3. When the victim is under eighteen (18) years of age and the offender is a parent.

as enumerated by the Court inBautista v. where there is reasonable doubt. 1999. 1998 Memorandum.15 In finding Valencerina guilty of giving undue advantage or preference to Ecobel. acquittal must then follow. (3) the act was done through manifest partiality.” “Gross negligence has been so defined as negligence characterized by the want of even slight care.A. which. a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will.or gave any unwarranted benefits.” “Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. it partakes of the nature of fraud. through manifest partiality. The third element of the crime of violation of Section 3(e) of R. issued by Valencerina himself. which were based primarily on the January 27. not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected.” 18 81 .In all criminal cases. in violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.16 are as follows: (1) the offender is a public officer. in turn. Valencerina was no doubt a public officer. and the Certifications. thus. (2) the act was done in the discharge of the public officer’s official. These elements. “[p]artiality” is synonymous with “bias” which “excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for rather than as they are. evident bad faith.A. that is. advantage or preference. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. administrative or judicial functions. 1998 and January 14. Proof of any of these three in connection with the prohibited acts mentioned in Section 3(e) of R. These documents purportedly showed his resignation to favor Ecobel in the issuance of the subject bond as well as his alleged participation in the negotiation of the loan sought to be guaranteed under the bond. Sandiganbayan.17 The Court expounds:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary [As defined]. 3019 may be committed in three ways. making him guilty of the offense charged. No. 3019 is enough to convict. and (4) the public officer caused any undue injury to any party. including the Government. The Court also believes that the third and last constitutive elements were established.13 Otherwise. No. and the alleged acts complained of were done while he was in office. the prosecution is burdened with the duty of establishing with proof beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of an accused. it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong. The Sandiganbayan correctly relied on the testimonies of the witnesses. Being the Vice-President for Marketing and Support Services of GSIS. or gross inexcusable negligence. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. must be satisfied with moral certainty that an accused has indeed committed the crime on the basis of facts and circumstances to warrant a judgment of conviction.14The premise is that an accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved. the Sandiganbayan was convinced that the elements of the crime were duly established. dated March 30.12 The determination of whether the prosecution has fulfilled such a heavy burden is left to the trial court. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.

Valencerina clearly extended. by giving any private party any unwarranted benefit. 029132 xxxx hereby affording unwarranted benefit. 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. together with the other accused.A. with evident bad faith and manifest partiality. December 10. Respondent. UYBOCO. No. a photocopy. loss. (2) the loss and destruction of the original or the reason for its non-production in court. v. these documents serve as the bedrock of the prosecution’s position that he violated Sec. His act of endorsing Ecobel’s application to the PGM despite his knowledge that the obligee of the loan was not PVB but a foreign lender. v. 3019 for “[w]ilfully. the absence of bad faith to which the unavailability of the original can be attributed. unlawfully and criminally. 211703. 2014 EDELBERT C.22 The correct order of proof is as follows: existence. is that BSIL was the funder and obligee of the credit sought to be guaranteed by the bond.R. A question of fact exists when the doubt centers on the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. participat[ing]. and contents. 3019 may be violated – first by causing undue injury to any party. In the amended information. if the original copy cannot be produced.A.4 to wit: A petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court should cover only questions of law. as held by this Court in Microsoft Corp. A question of law exists when the doubt centers on what the law is on a certain set of facts. Rule 45 of the Rules of Court states that petitions for review on certiorari shall raise only questions of law which must be distinctly set forth. can only be admitted in evidence if it is shown that the original is unavailable 21 by proving (1) the existence or due execution of the original. PVB was merely used to show that GSIS has an insurable interest in the loan. A perusal of the same simply yields no other conclusion that Valencerina. No.23 There are two ways by which Section 3(e) of R. was charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. with evident bad faith. the prosecution charged him for both. and (3) on the part of the offeror. the release or issuance of Surety Bond GIF NO. however.. Maxicorp. including the government and second. as it appeared in a report before the Sandiganbayan. The truth. Section 1. or contribut[ing] to. 82 . Inc. advantage or preference. execution. an accused may be charged under either mode or both. advantage or preference to Ecobel Land Incorporated. Questions of fact are not reviewable. clearly shows his disregard for the policy of GSIS requiring the existence of governmental interest in the transaction. No. Indeed. Although neither mode constitutes a distinct offense. It is true that these were mere photocopies and. undue advantage to Ecobel in the process of issuing and negotiating the subject bond. as a general rule. Petitioner.In this case. In the observation of the GSIS audit team.” G.

2) He must have acted with manifest partiality. absent a clear disregard of the evidence before it that can otherwise affect the results of the case. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. (3) where there is grave abuse of discretion.5 Absent any clear showing of abuse. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. Corrupt practices of public officers. including the Government. . surmise and conjectures.6 This rule admits of exceptions. 7 Even if the foregoing rules were to be relaxed in the interest of substantial justice.8 Based on the records of the case. especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. are binding and conclusive upon this Court. On the first element. The evidence on record amply supports the findings and conclusions of the Sandiganbayan and petitioner has shown no cause for this Court to apply any of the foregoing exceptions. the following elements must concur: 1) The accused must be a public officer discharging administrative. arbitrariness or capriciousness committed by the lower court. including the government. (2) where the inference made is manifestly mistaken. the elements of the crime charged exist in the present case. accused Valencia was a public officer at the time the 83 . as follows: (1) where the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. or giving any private party unwarranted benefits. A meticulous scrutiny of the records of the case persuades Us to conclude that the Sandiganbayan did not err in its finding that petitioner is guilty of the crime charged. and 3) That his action caused undue injury to any party. or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. judicial or official functions. advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions.Findings of fact made by a trial court are accorded the highest degree of respect by an appellate tribunal and. those findings should not be ignored. evident bad faith or gross in excusable negligence. and (5) the findings of fact of the Sandiganbayan are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by evidence on record.In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 provides: Section 3. its findings of facts. (4) where the judgment is based on misapprehension of facts. For accused to be found liable under Section 3(e) of RA 3019. this Court nevertheless finds no reason to disagree with the factual findings of the Sandiganbayan. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: x x x x (e) Causing any undue injury to any party.

as We held in People of the Philippines v.10 Petitioner failed to dispute any of the documentary evidence presented by the prosecution and relied upon by the Sandiganbayan.994. As to the second element. held liable for the pertinent offenses under Section 3 of R. it bears to reiterate the settled rule that private persons. as evidenced by their execution and approval of the purchase order No. president of Gaikoku. Go:9 At the outset. It must be borne to mind that any procurement or “acquisition of supplies or property by local government units shall be through competitive public bidding”. and respondents aptly pointed out. he was found to have been in conspiracy with accused Valencia.A. No. and Gaikoku’s proforma invoice. In fact. This is in accord with the rule that private persons may be charged in conspiracy with public officers. The Sandiganbayan found that petitioner and accused Valencia acted in conspiracy to commit the crime charged. among which is a case involving herein private respondent. to wit:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary The records show that conspiracy existed by and between accused Rodolfo Valencia and Edelbert Uyboco. Thus. In fact. may be indicted and. The present case is similar to the case of Plameras v. The defense failed to present any substantial evidence of the two failed biddings.A. considering that the procurement of the subject dump trucks for an overpriced amount of PhP6. if found guilty. while petitioner was a private individual. Henry T. that accused Valencia failed to comply with the requirements of Section 369 of the Local Government Code on negotiated purchase. The Sandiganbayan correctly ruled. despite non-delivery – an act or omission evidencing bad faith and manifest partiality. Valencia had already approved the purchase request for the dump trucks as early as March 1993. it was proved by presented evidence that the alleged failed biddings were merely simulated. in consonance with the avowed policy of the anti-graft law to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike constituting graft or corrupt practices act or which may lead thereto.acts in question were committed. 3019.00 could not have been possible without each other’s participation and cooperation. People. certain established rules. when acting in conspiracy with public officers.11 wherein this Court upheld the conviction of the accused. This is the controlling doctrine as enunciated by this Court in previous cases. which required that there must have been at least two failed public biddings before a contract for a negotiated purchase may be entered into. accused Valencia entered into a negotiated contract with Gaikoku without authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP). This was reiterated in the Local Government Code of 1991 on procurement of supplies which provides: 84 .286. prior to any SP resolution approving such direct acquisition. there appears to be no reason for this Court to review such finding. 7160) were knowingly sidestepped and ignored by the petitioner which enabled CKL Enterprises/Dela Cruz to successfully get full payment for the school desks and armchairs. Thus. regulations and policies of the Commission on Audit and those mandated under the Local Government Code of 1991 (R. 4979 dated March 1993. to wit: As correctly observed by the Sandiganbayan.

PALAYPAY. even mistakes.+ VICENTE SANTOS. ROLANDO C. the Provincial Government should have only paid the tax-free amount of P4. at the very least. he proceeded just the same due to the alleged advice of the unnamed DECS representative that there was already a negotiated contract – a representation or misrepresentation he willfully believed in. This has clearly caused undue injury to the government. VILLARMINO. JOHN DOES AND JANE DOES. ARIAS.. in favor of petitioner’s company. MELISSA T. JUAN.. or an excess of P2. Respondents. As it is. v. NONETTE H. NELSON UMALI. there is no public bidding to speak of that has been conducted. AUGUSTO C. TADEO. CONCHITA N. This can be proved by his failure to present even a single witness from the members of the Board whom he consulted as he claimed. FULLIDO. ERDITO Q. 356. 170046.Sec. FAVORITO.85. CATIBAYAN.15.12 Finally.166. Gaikoku. AMAR. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. The basis is the tenet that an act performed by counsel within the scope of a “general or implied authority” is regarded as an act of the client. FULLIDO.286. ROMEO C.400.. JESSICA J. No. JESUS D. EDEM. Petitioner. RICARDO M. MARIA LUISA T. without any verification. BERAY. PLANTA. AGERICO C. The general rule is that a client is bound by the acts. It is well to recall that there are two kinds of determination of probable 85 . there are exceptions recognized by this Court: “(1) where reckless or gross negligence of counsel deprives the client of due process of law. or (3) where the interests of justice so require. ROGELIO L. RONALDO G. JR. FLORENDO B. NORMA A. ANAS.” G. however. MAXIMO A.994. CAPUZ. As a Governor. JANETTE A. BUGAYONG. – Except as otherwise provided herein. Instead. To do otherwise is gross inexcusable negligence. December 10. With this direct importation. JR. the third element of the crime is also present since it had been proven that an overpayment was made for the dump trucks. LUISITO S. accused Valencia had already authorized and caused the disbursement of P6. JR. DANILO C. since these were directly imported by the Provincial Government from the distributor in Japan. ESPINA. x x x The petitioner admitted in his testimony that he is aware of such requirement. especially so. QUARTO. (2) when its application will result in outright deprivation of the client’s liberty or property. that petitioner acted on his own initiative and without authorization from the Provincial School Board. BORJE. GO. While the application of this general rule certainly depends upon the surrounding circumstances of a given case. it is his duty to act in a circumspect manner to protect government funds. Intentionally or not. CRUZ. CARMELITO V. VIOLETA C. UY. AND THE SANDIGANBAYAN (SECOND DIVISION). NAPOLEON S. SAN JOSE.594. SIMBAHAN.119. of his counsel in the realm of procedural technique. acquisition of supplies by local government units shall be through competitive public bidding. BURT B. he must know that negotiated contract can only be resorted to in case of failure of a public bidding. DELA ROSA. CASTILLO. FELIPE A. RODELIA R. VIOLETA R. General Rule in Procurement or Disposal. DELA CRUZ.R. CAPUZ. VICTORIA M.

in the exercise of its discretion. and definitely not on evidence establishing absolute certainty of guilt. was merely performing his duty as mandated by the Constitution 23 and by law. It need not be based on clear and convincing evidence of guilt. this Court will not interfere with the same. On the one hand. and to charge the person believed to have committed the crime as defined by law. the determination of probable cause during the preliminary investigation. It is such set of facts and circumstances which would lead a reasonably discreet and prudent man to believe that the offense charged in the Information. probable cause has been defined as such facts as are sufficient to engender a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that respondents are probably guilty thereof. or reinvestigation for that matter. 14 It is well settled that courts do not interfere with the discretion of the Ombudsman to determine the presence or absence of probable cause believing that a crime has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof necessitating the filing of the corresponding information with the appropriate courts.12 On the other hand. It is one made by a judge who must satisfy himself that based on the evidence presented.cause: executive and judicial. or any offense included therein. 19 The Ombudsman in this case. is a function that belongs to the Office of the Ombudsman. there is necessity in placing the accused under custody so that the ends of justice will not be frustrated.15 This rule is based not only on respect for the investigatory and prosecutory powers granted by the Constitution to the Office of the Ombudsman but upon practicality as well. the functions of the Court will be seriously hampered by innumerable petitions assailing the dismissal of investigatory proceedings conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman with regard to complaints filed before it. has been committed by the person sought to be arrested. 11 It is a function that properly pertains to the public prosecutor who is given a broad discretion to determine whether probable cause exists and to charge those whom he believes to have committed the crime as defined by law and should be held for trial. If it were otherwise.24 Filing an Information against respondents in this case based on sufficient ground to engender a wellfounded belief that a crime has been committed and that respondents are 86 . as far as crimes cognizable by the Sandiganbayan are concerned. neither on evidence establishing guilt beyond reasonable doubt. executive determination of probable cause ascertains whether a criminal case must be filed in court. For purposes of filing a criminal information. unless it is shown that the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause was done in a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment evidencing a clear case of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. judicial determination of probable cause ascertains whether a warrant of arrest should be issued against the accused. 13 Verily.18 Thus.17 A finding of probable cause needs only to rest on evidence showing that more likely than not a crime has been committed and was committed by the suspect. which is empowered to determine. in this case. 16 The Office of the Ombudsman. however. whether probable cause exists. in much the same way that the courts would be extremely swamped with cases if they could be compelled to review the exercise of discretion on the part of the fiscals or prosecuting attorneys each time they decide to file an information in court or dismiss a complaint by a private complainant. found probable cause which would warrant the filing of an information against respondents.

the Ombudsman’s charge was not at all baseless for the link between the respondents and the anomalous transactions herein has been satisfactorily established. [such as shabu]. Anent appellant’s defense of frame-up. and the consideration. VENERANDO DELA CRUZ Y SEBASTIAN. Appellant sold and delivered the drug for P1.”4 Here. As effectively shown by evidence. It positively identified appellant as the seller of the seized illegal substance which turned out to be positive for methamphetamine hydrochloride commonly known as shabu. Marking of the seized shabu is the initial stage in the chain of custody in buy-bust operations. the object. it must be proven with strong and convincing evidence. 87 . therefore. Plaintiff-Appellee. the prosecution submitted evidence that duly established the elements of illegal sale of shabu. the marking must be made in the presence of the apprehended offender and upon immediate confiscation. No. Chain of custody is “the duly recorded authorized movements and custody of seized drugs or controlled chemicals or plant sources of dangerous drugs or laboratory equipment of each stage.6chanrobleslaw . 9 Appellant failed in this regard.probably guilty thereof cannot be said to be whimsical or despotic. 193670.R. v. “In a prosecution for illegal sale of dangerous drugs. a police asset who acted as poseur-buyer. such is inherently weak and viewed with disfavor for it can be easily concocted. As requisites. and this contemplates even marking at the nearest police station or office of the apprehending team. a dangerous drug. G.00 to Ebio.Accused-Appellant. The delivery of the illicit drug to the poseurbuyer and the receipt by the seller of the marked money successfully consummate the buy-bust transaction. In the absence. 8 For this defense to succeed.”5 It eliminates doubts concerning the proper preservation of the identity and integrity of the corpus delicti or the shabu in this case. and (2) the delivery of the thing sold and the payment therefor. 2014 PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. December 03. the following elements must be duly established: (1) the identity of the buyer and seller. Verily.500. all the elements of the sale of illegal drugs were established to support appellant’s conviction of the said offense. from the time of seizure/confiscation to receipt in the forensic laboratory to safekeeping to presentation in court for destruction. of any showing that the questioned acts of the Ombudsman were done in a capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment evidencing a clear case of grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. this Court will not interfere with the Ombudsman’s exercise of his constitutionally mandated powers.

88 .